January 12, 2021

Transparency and Engagement with Meeting Summaries

Governance. Powered by PTA.

PTAs strive to involve their members and communities in the work of PTA and often post meeting minutes online to be transparent and increase engagement. Unfortunately, posting meeting minutes is risky. Instead, encourage PTAs to post meeting summaries online!

What is the difference between meeting minutes and a meeting summary? Minutes are a permanent legal record of all business done by a PTA and may include sensitive information and details about a PTA’s business. A meeting summary can discuss the work done at a meeting but would not include specific motions, attendance/member lists, or other sensitive information.

Minutes are legal documents. Making these documents public can make a PTA a target. Bad actors may attempt to use a PTA’s minutes for their own gain, or to take advantage of a situation.

PTAs are private associations, and the law provides for restricted access to minutes. Washington’s Nonprofit Corporation Act (24.03) states minutes need only be made available to members of over three months’ standing who have a PTA purpose for examining those records. Any review should happen in-person, after determining the PTA purpose for the review.

Category: Leadership

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