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the observer

a bimonthly e-newsletter from Ninth District PTA 


The Spanish edition will be online at our website within five days.  

La edición en español estará en línea en nuestro sitio web dentro de cinco días.



November 24-25 

Office Closed  


December 1 

Advocacy Training

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

San Diego County Office of Education

Annex C





February 6-7

Leg Conference & Sacramento Safari 


February 8

Founders Day Breakfast & Annual Meeting

Scottish Rite Event Center 

7:30 am - 11 am 


May 9-12

California State PTA Convention

Anaheim, CA


June 2

Summer Leadership Conference

7 am - 3 pm

University of San Diego 


June 21-24

National PTA Convention

San Jose, CA 





October 2011
  • Year-end audits 
  • Copy of your 2011-12 budget 
November 2011
  • First remittance of per capita dues
  • IRS and state tax filings  
  • File RRF-1 if you have a charitable trust number 
  • Reflections art submissions due to Councils 
  • $199 unit insurance due 
  • Worker's Comp Forms due
Check with your Council for specific due dates. If out of council, check with Ninth District PTA.

Find us on Facebook  Join the discussion.  

From District Executive VP  Carol Green 

November 14, 2011


 Carol Green

    Don't forget to extend a personal invitation to join the PTA.  


  In this day of emails, texting, social media and instant messages -- don't forget face to face conversations.


   I joined the PTA 14 years ago when another Kindergarten mother asked me to join.  I joined the board when I said to another mom, "if you ever need any help, give me a call."  That night the PTA president called and invited me to join the board.  I think officially I was appointed newsletter chairman, but all I knew at the time, was this very nice and important parent at the school had taken the time to call me personally.    


   This week, make it a goal to talk to someone and personally ask them to join your PTA. Many hands make light work and many members make a louder voice.

   Thank you for all you do for our children. Let's give more people the opportunity.     




Shawna Straw, Treasurer  

When you filed your federal IRS tax return, did you also file the State 199? This is a new requirement from the California Franchise Tax Board. While PTAs are exempt from paying income tax, we must file with both the federal and state government each year to report our gross receipts (all money you collected during the year before expenses).  


The state form you use depends on your gross receipts:   

  • Gross receipts normally $25,000 or less, file State Form 199N e-Postcard. It's similar to the federal 990N e-Postcard - with one exception. The State asks you to input your gross receipts while the federal form doesn't require a specific figure.

As always, contact me if you have any questions. Learn more.  


Shawna Straw, Treasurer  

The Ninth District Treasurer is available for "office hours" on most Tuesdays of the month. PTA leaders with questions or in need of advice can arrange an appointment to either speak on the phone or meet in person at the Ninth District PTA office on most Tuesdays. The treasurer is available after 2:00 pm on the first and third Tuesday of the month, and after 10:00 am on the other Tuesdays. Please call 858-268-8077 or email the Ninth District office to schedule an appointment.


Pay early to avoid the $25 late fee.
Every PTA is covered by low-cost insurance through California State PTA. Your current insurance policy expires at the end of 2011. You must pay your premium to continue your coverage into 2012. The insurance premium is $199 for units and $131 for Councils. Check with your council on the due date. Pay on time to avoid the $25 late fee.
   All units and councils must also turn in a Workers Compensation Annual Payroll Report - even if you didn't pay anyone. If your unit paid no contractors in 2011, write "NO ONE PAID" across the form and submit with your insurance payment. If you paid contractors, list the contractors (you can estimate how much you will pay through the end of 2011) and turn in. If your total payroll is more than $1,000, you'll need to pay an additional premium.

What do I do if somebody gets hurt at a PTA-sponsored event?  

If somebody is injured at a PTA-sponsored event - even slightly, the PTA president should file an Incident Report with our insurance company. This form is in the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide which every president should have. The report is a confidential communication between the PTA and our insurance broker. It is not a claim, it is merely notification of a potential problem. Early involvement by an insurance adjuster can reduce costs if a claim is filed.  Learn more.


Easy to check online.

Every PTA now needs a Charitable Trust (CT) number from the California Attorney General. This was a new requirement last year. If your PTA applied for a CT number last year, you should have it by now. If you're not sure of your number, you can look it up here. Just type in your Federal Employer Identification (FEIN) number from your bylaws, and it will let you know if your have a CT number. Write your CT number in your bylaws (Article XIV, Section 6). If you haven't yet applied for a CT number, click here for instructions.


Two ways to win awards! +24 and 100% Connected
You've turned in your 30 memberships early for Ready, Set, Remit award. Are you ready for the next membership challenge? Sign up 24 members more than last year, and you're eligible for the California State PTA +24 Award. If every unit adds 24 members, we'll be one million strong!

Also try for the "100% Connected Award" fo
r PTAs whose membership equals or exceeds their school enrollment. For example, if a school has 400 students and their PTA has 400 members, then that PTA is 100% connected! Considering that for every student, there are usually two parents, four grandparents, uncles and aunts plus the teachers and staff at your school, getting 100% connected is within reach. Plus students can join any PTA or PTSA.   
Roberts rules of order
Who is Robert and why are we following his rules? 
Have you ever been in a meeting and one person won't stop talking? Or you start discussing your upcoming carnival and then the conversation shifts to last night's TV show. Then you need to know about Robert -- or should we say Robert's Rules of Order. Henry M. Robert wrote them in 1876 and his rules have been adopted by organizations large and small -from the United Nations to your PTA (Check out Article XV in your bylaws). The genius of Robert's Rules is they keep a meeting organized and flowing. If you follow Robert's Rules, you will:
  • Conduct business one item at a time
  • Let committees do their work
  • Eliminate crosstalk
  • Limit discussion to the topic at hand
  • Cut off discussion when it becomes redundant
You can purchase a copy of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief for $7 at the Ninth District PTA office. Bone up on your Robert's Rules and you'll accomplish more at your meetings in less time. Learn more.


State capitol
Leg Conference & Sacramento Safari, February 6-7
Join the Ninth District PTA delegation in Sacramento February 6-7 for the California State PTA Legislation Conference. You'll hear directly from key experts about the latest on the state budget, education reform efforts and the importance of investing in the whole child. We'll be talking about how PTA plans to take action on key issues affecting public education and the children and families of California. On the second day of the conference, we'll put our training into action by visiting our local legislators. The visits for Ninth District PTA are being coordinated by Bey-Ling Sha, Ninth District PTA Sacramento Safari chairman. Your voice is needed now more than ever! Details coming soon.
Thursday, December 1, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
San Diego Office of Education brown bag training

This is the first of many brown bag seminars. You bring your lunch or dinner, and we'll bring the training. First up - learn how to successfully impact issues affecting children and families in your community. This workshop will show you how to make an impact with your elected representatives - whether by letter, phone call or personal meeting. Everyone can't go to Sacramento - so we need to step it up here in San Diego. Bey-Ling Sha, Ninth District PTA Sacramento Safari Chairman and San Diego State University professor will lead the workshop. Learn more. 


Heather Bush
Heather Bush, VP Parent Involvement
On October 13, the California Budget Project released a study called A Decade of Disinvestment: California Education Spending Nears the Bottom. This study compares California to the rest of the US in spending on public education. Here's how California ranks:
  • Ranked 46th in nation in school spending per student.
  • Ranked 47th in nation in education spending as a percentage of personal income.
  • Ranked 50th in nation in respect to number of students per teacher. 
  • Ranked 49th in nation in respect to number of students per guidance counselor.
  • Ranked 50th in nation in respect to number of students per librarian.
  • Ranked 46th in nation in number of students per administrator. 
Despite Proposition 98 which guarantees minimum funding for schools, the gap between California and the rest of the nation is widening. This should be a concern by all California parents and citizens. You can read the entire report here.

Brian Bonner, Leadership Team and California PTA VP Parent Involvement  

The National PTA joined the Military Alliance for Parents and Partners to provide resources and advocate for military-connected families. The alliance identifies and addresses the unique social and educational challenges military families face due to issues of deployment and mobility, among others.  The founding participants include:

  • Military Children Education Coalition
  • National Military Family Association
  • Military Impacted Schools Association
  • U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity

Ninth District PTA recognizes the sacrifices and contributions from military families in the San Diego region. Military families are an integral part of the fabric of our community. One of the ways Ninth District PTA will address issues of military families is the creation of the Military Families and Children in Transition Committee. This committee will also address issues of foster children and homeless youth. Please contact committee chairman Brian Bonner if you want to assist in this effort or to seek information.  Learn more.  


food bank logo
Which high school can collect the most food?
Hunger is a children's issue. Almost half the people served by the San Diego Food bank are children. That is why Ninth District PTA is once again supporting the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom from Hunger Food Drive. Every high school Associated Student Body (ASB) in San Diego County is invited to participate. Hosting a food drive is easy and fun! The food challenge will run January 16-31, 2012. The high schools that collect the most food will receive a donation to their ASB. Awards will be presented at the Laurels for Leaders Luncheon saluting all San Diego County High School ASB Presidents on Tuesday, February 21. If you represent a high school PTA/PTSA, encourage your ASB to participate. Learn more.

"If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

-- Confucius  

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Laura Schumacher
The Observer Editor