Thursday, November 3, 2005 at the Carver Educational Services Center




Officers: Cindy Kerr, Victor Salazar, Liz Wheeler, Juan Johnson, Shirley Brandman, Sharon St. Pierre, April Keyes and Jinhee Wilde


Area Vice Presidents and Cluster Coordinators: Ted Willard, Jim Keenan, Jane deWinter, Lilo Mitz, Lori Merrill, Phil Kaufman, Suzanne Weiss, Carley Lee, Deborah DeMille Wagman, Linda Kuserk, Karen Smith, Carroll Lovelace, Marney Jacobs, Deborah Steven Panni, John Leach, Rosanne Hurwitz, Ellen Paul,

Steve Crowley, Susan Joyce Thomas, Mark Rother, Susie Scofield, Alies Muskin, Sally Taber, Chris Barclay


Committee Chairs: Vicki Rafel, Meredith Walters, Deanne Marino, Victoria Campbell Carter, Patti Twigg, Patricia Carpio, Tom Murphy, and Tracy Fox



Call to Order: MCCPTA President Cindy Kerr called the meeting to order at 8:15 PM.


Agenda: Additions to the agenda were: adding draft language for the directory motion as requested by the delegate assembly; nomination of the committee chair for cultural arts; and calendar.

The discussion of the formation of an equity committee and the Roscoe Nix naming will be moved to the December executive board meeting.

The earlier start time for Delegate Assembly by moving to a 7 PM start time to allow for more time for programs was to be discussed tonight. It would allow for a half hour program with time for question and answers without rushing. It was acceptable to the group to drop it from our agenda tonight and bring this suggestion to the November delegate assembly. The suggestion was made to talk to locals, and put it on the listserve and bulletin.


Meeting Minutes: The September 29, 2005 executive board meeting minutes were distributed. Two corrections were made to the minutes. First words (underlined below) were inserted under the meeting minutes heading so that one sentence now reads: “A clarification will be added to the August minutes to state that the meeting was to be held on August 4, but re-scheduled as a special meeting due to a lack of a quorum present to conduct business.” Second, under New Business the correct spelling of a GT committee member should be Zoraida DeJesus. In response to a question and ensuing discussion, the motion on a request for $150 for the third district gang summit on page 3 stands as written. The minutes were approved as amended.


Treasurer’s Report:

Juan Johnson distributed the MCCPTA’s, Inc. Treasurer’s Reports of September 27, 2005 through October 24, 2005 and October 25 through November 2, 2005. Only 15 of 179 locals have paid their membership dues. November 1 is the deadline for dues to be paid to the state, and Juan wants to be in compliance with that date. One school paid last year’s dues this week, and some over the summer. We have reserves to cover our costs for dues.

Questions and discussion suggested a spreadsheet would be helpful for locals to know their status. Juan will bring one to the next meeting. The treasurer’s report will be filed for audit.




President Cindy Kerr added to the treasurer’s report by stating that she and Juan are working with the state on the new liability coverage. MD PTA requires all councils to have liability coverage with them. This year they have negotiated a fee of $150 (saving $100) for locals with Nunzio. We can continue as a council to pre-pay as a council. Riders will still be offered. Locals must send proof of coverage to be in good standing. The coverage period will be changing to June to June, so Cindy and Juan will work with the state on how to handle December to June.

The Blue Book (MCCPTA Directory) is being proofed and will go to the printers soon. Cindy hopes to have it distributed by the end of the month. Some organizations that advocate for children have been added, such as United for All Children. Recommendations to make the blue book better should be brought to before the executive board. Questions were raised about using the pony instead of the mail. The pony is being used to cut costs. The blue book is useful because we are required to collect names for MD PTA and National PTA, and because locals can use it as a tool.

Based upon operating budget from last year, Cindy said MCCPTA will testify in support of operating budget testimony time at the Board meeting on Thursday. Shirley or Jane will testify because Cindy is not available.


Vice President – Programs:

Sharon St. Pierre announced, on behalf of Reflections chair Neal Myerson that the last call for Reflections entries is soon. Be sure that your PTA is listed as being in good standing, and arrange for judging and recognition. The Delegate assembly program from October 25 on Bullying and Gangs will be broadcast on Channel 34 on Friday, Nov. 4 at 9 PM, and again at 6 PM on Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6.


Vice President – Administration:

Victor Salazar asked for cluster coordinators to look at their locals to find out who needs to review bylaws and submit them to the state. Locals can contact Victor, Meredith Walters and Vicki Rafel for help with bylaws and/or incorporation. A reminder from Cindy was that we now send bylaws certified mail to get a return receipt. Council officers have gone to state training and learned that we are required to have local units submit monthly membership numbers. Our membership chair Patricia Carpio is working on this for us. A question was raised on how to report. Victor said the state wants raw numbers, not names. There will be an electronic method used. Cindy stated that there is a new membership chair for MD PTA, so in a few weeks MD PTA will play a more active role.  

Victor addressed the miscommunication regarding his new “authority” over testimony at the Board of Education. He does not have authority. Part of this issue may be because the Board of Education secretary is out for health reasons, and there’s upheaval in the Board office itself. There had been some confusion about locals not being able to testify at the Board of Education, and being told to go back to their cluster to see if they could cede time. Victor has been in touch with George Margolies. On Monday he will negotiate times. Local PTAs can sign up as individuals and identify themselves as the president of a PTA. Please get those local names to Cindy. Those areas with boundary studies have been allotted 3 more minutes. Cindy will call Pat O’Neill tomorrow.

Victor answered Lilo Mitz’s concern about the potential for politics at the gang forum this Saturday. Doug Duncan appointed the advisory group and funded it as the county executive, but he won’t be there on Saturday. Chris Van Hollen and Duncan were included because of the joint task force report, its recommendations, and questions from the community. Chris Van Hollen secured federal funds for the youth crossroads project in Montgomery County. Pam Moomau’s response to the concerns that she posted on the listserve was read by Cindy and deemed very appropriate. The politicians have a role and provide information. Victor has informed them that they cannot have campaign literature or give campaign speeches, and no donations can be accepted by them at this event.


Vice President – Educational Issues:

Shirley Brandman reminded us of upcoming events: the Middle School Committee will meet on November 16 at 7 PM in the Carver auditorium; Parent Leadership Committee will meet on December 5 from 7:30 to 9 PM at Carver in room 127. The policy on academic ineligibility is being sent out for public comment soon. Shirley is working on the revised draft of our advocacy priorities to rank cross category issues (e.g. elementary, middle and high, or bullying and safety). Linna Barnes called from the Committee for Montgomery about the annual legislative breakfast. There is money in the budget.

Shirley Brandman made a motion that we buy a table for $600 for the Committee for Montgomery breakfast. The motion was seconded and passed on a voice vote.


Vice President – Legislation:

Jinhee Wilde reported that Ida Rubin and Charles Barkley, the chairs of the House and Senate Montgomery County delegation, will present legislative issues at the November Delegate Assembly. Tom Murphy sent a letter to confirm their attendance. Suzanne Weiss is working on a December 15 meet and greet with the executive board and legislators. Discussion about using Strathmore for this event concluded that it would be cost prohibitive due to parking, hors d’ouvres, and $25 per person. The consensus was to do it at Carver and have it catered. We’re hoping for 100 people.

Jinhee Wilde made a motion that we allocate up to $1,000 for a meet and greet with legislators. The motion was seconded by Suzanne Weiss. It passed on a voice vote.

The first county executive candidate’s forum was yesterday. MCCPTA as an organization had a good showing compared to other groups. Educational questions made it as part of the forum.



New Business:


Jane de Winter distributed a letter that she drafted to Board of Education President Pat O’Neill regarding the school calendar. If the state changes the primary election day to June, Jane is asking that the executive board request that the Board of Education change the start date for the school year 2006-2007 to Tuesday, August 29. The number of instructional days remains the same, but parents and families gain an extra weekend. Discussion stated that there is no time to take this motion to the delegates because the calendar vote occurs before the next delegates meeting. Therefore, the motion and the letter will come from the executive board only.

Jane de Winter made a motion that we accept her letter to change the start date of the next school year based upon the change in the state primary date. It was seconded. It passed on a voice vote.



Operating Budget:

Jane deWinter urged people to contact their Board of Education member, and student member, to say you support the designated time slot for testimony for clusters.


Tracy Fox asked for completion of the health committee survey for what’s happening with Physical Education, Art and Music in the elementary schools with the reduction in class size. The survey is online on the MCCPTA website. The delegates received a hard copy survey at the assembly. She’d like 1 per elementary and middle school. Tracy is the MCCPTA representative on the Wellness Committee tasked to develop a mandate for physical activity. The committee will report to the Board sometime in mid December. She’s happy with the progress they’ve made.  


Marney Jacobs distributed spreadsheets of CIP comments by cluster and category, actual enrollment data and CIP committee talking points. CIP priorities were sent out on email, too. Marney and Jim are available to help with CIP comments. The theme is “Keep it up – maintain the CIP.”  Please say thank you and stand together. We need the Board of Education and county council on our side. We hope the state will give $33 million to the county.


Tom Murphy recommended that we look at the legislative platform from the Board of Education that was adopted on October 24. We should look these areas. We’ll need to use it as we form our own platform. It’s on the MCPS website if you go to the annotated agenda.

Cultural Arts:

Sharon St. Pierre said that Joan Wolf Chiaverini, of Burning Tree Elementary School and Pyle Middle School, has agreed to be nominated for the Cultural Arts chair position.

Cindy Kerr offered the name of Joan Wolf Chiaverini to be the cultural arts chairperson. Her nomination passed on a voice vote.


Vicki Rafel will go through the information article by article. There is no such thing as transitional bylaws. The MD PTA said that the template was to go out to the bylaws chair.


Vicki thanked her bylaws committee members, Diane Dickson, Victor Salazar, April Keyes, and Mary Ann Bowen for their work. Vicki distributed the bylaws update and memo, including the MD PTA Council Bylaws Form for MCCPTA bylaws. The pound signs indicate mandatory changes and others are highly recommended. If you leave out the highly recommended changes, MD PTA won’t be happy unless you can sell them on it. The state PTA is trying to rearrange articles, so that articles in every state council bylaws are consistent regardless of the size of the council, but with the flexibility that size makes a difference in the kind of bylaws you need. For example, we have extra articles for area vice presidents, cluster coordinators and their nominations that aren’t in the state format. The committee looked at the format and reviewed our existing bylaws to integrate them.  


The committee has made 4 additional recommendations:

  1. 3 year term limit for treasurer instead of the current 5 year limit
  2. Changing the delegate assembly at which we elect the nominating committee from the second delegate assembly (October) to the third delegate assembly (November)
  3. Delete at MD PTA’s recommendation - “A member holding more than one position (i.e., delegate and committee chair) may designate an alternate for the purpose of voting to enable both positions served to make a separate vote.” because it’s in conflict with another section. The draft bylaws read, “Individuals are entitled to one vote, even though they may be serving in more than one position.”
  4. Insert immediate past president instead of past presidents and delete National PTA because National is changing its structure


Discussion included: tracking changes (deletions, additions); considering each article; making amendments in writing for the committee; voting item by item; changes made required by state and changes made by the committee; written instructions from state (cover letter); our written record as the cover memo and draft bylaws; MD PTA lack of rationale for change in language from executive board to board of directors (perhaps because it’s like other non-profits, state and national PTAs) and changes in language by the state.


Vicki Rafel led the review of individual articles.


I               as written

II             as written (pound sign means it’s mandatory).

III            as written (pound sign means it’s mandatory).

IV            As written this mandatory section includes some of sections that had been in other articles previously. Cindy noted that PTA council in good standing in section 1 was added by vote at the last convention. This language goes to locals, too.

V             As written the purposes of MCCPTA has only section 2 that is mandatory (melding of ours and MD PTA).

Section 1 is what’s been in our council bylaws forever. Section 2 is new and is mandatory, with some of section 2 having slightly different wording.

VI            As written for officers and their elections (one change since the blue book was printed is the Vice President for Legislation)

Section 4 a. is mandatory.

                A minor change to section 3 is changing dropping a motion from the floor to, “When there is only one candidate for any office, that election may be held by voice vote.” Changes are there because of MD PTA changes in wording. In Article VIII section 1 in our blue book it reads, “These officers shall be elected by ballot at the Annual Meeting.” This shows that the intent remains the same in the merging.

                If someone thinks the wording of a section is a significant departure from what’s there, then they can make it as a motion to include that as among the changes in amendments.

                Section 4 b. “Only members of a local PTA whose National, state and council PTA dues are paid shall be eligible to hold office. All officers shall have served at least one (1) full year as a local PTA officer of one (1) full year on the PTA council board of directors.”  This is part of state recommended language, so if we change it we must be prepared to explain why we didn’t do what they recommended.

Section 4 b. Credentials for voting require a local PTA membership in a unit that is in good standing. Delegates and executive board members need to know that this will be enforced, so they need to know if their schools are in good standing.

Article VIII Section 4 in our blue book reads, “Only members of a local PTA in Montgomery County whose National, State and MCCPTA dues are paid shall be eligible for election to office.” 

This applies to locals, too. We’re supposed to follow this.

Audits are part of good standing, too. We are in good standing since our audit is in process.  The State hasn’t started to enforce the audit yet, since they don’t know how they will enforce all of their requirements. MD PTA will enforce bylaws and dues. We review the local audits and only send on those that have problems.


This is the set of bylaws the committee recommended. If it’s not acceptable, then we explain it to the state. Additional discussion included: use of a red line copy for changes; outlining changes for recommendations noted or side by side comparison; using software “compare write” to produce a third document; MD PTA telling us that the format was focused on coming into alignment so all councils used the same language; and our current bylaws not matching line by line or section by section with the state. Additional issues of changing the name from the executive board to board of directors; adding in a removal from office; term limits; quorums; and attendance requirements were only mentioned, but not discussed tonight due to time constraints. The committee will work on noting changes. We will put bylaws on the agenda for next month and will possibly have a special meeting devoted to bylaws.


ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 10:07 PM.