Maryland PTA files injunction to stop National PTA to stop restructuring efforts

The Maryland PTA has filed an injunction against its parent organization, seeking to block the National PTA’s plan to restructure the statewide affiliate due to high turnover on its board caused by “hostile” leadership.

The National PTA announced it was restructuring the Maryland group last week, after it fell out of compliance with the organization’s “Standards of Affiliation,” according to letters obtained by The Baltimore Sun. Restructuring means the National PTA can assist the Maryland PTA in electing new leaders. It also gives the national group access to Maryland PTA funds and records, as well the ability to arrange an audit.


The National PTA also warned the statewide group it could revoke its charter, potentially putting Maryland’s 160,000 members at risk of losing services and input in setting the organization’s agenda.

Maryland PTA announced Wednesday that it has asked the Anne Arundel Circuit Court for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against National PTA to stop the restructuring.


“The attempted action by National PTA did not afford the State PTA any due process and is an egregious attempt to circumvent State law and the bylaws governing Maryland PTA,” the group said in a statement.

The PTA is the nation’s largest child advocacy group with 4 million members, and it works with schools by volunteering in classrooms and raising money for supplies. The Glen Burnie-based Maryland PTA represents hundreds of local parent-teacher associations in the state.

National PTA President Leslie Boggs pointed Wednesday to a statement she released last week, saying “it remains our sincere hope that Maryland PTA can swiftly find an equitable resolution to its current situation” that meets the needs of most of its members.

The dispute between the two organizations dates back to in May, when the National PTA first warned the Maryland PTA of complaints about how the state organization was managed.

The state PTA had high turnover due to “a hostile board environment, frequent special meetings, and an assumed directive of loyalty to the Maryland PTA president rather than to Maryland PTA,” Boggs wrote in a letter to Maryland PTA.

The Evening Sun

The Evening Sun


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The letter said Maryland PTA leadership refused to provide access to resources and provided insufficient notice for meetings, preventing members from completing their duties.

The national group wanted the Maryland PTA to verify that all officers were properly elected and qualified, and to provide proper notice of all special meetings, to provide board members access to documents prior to meetings, and to establish “a cooperative working environment.”

In August, Maryland PTA President Edna Harvin-Battle sent a letter to Boggs stating all PTA special meetings were announced, according to a copy provided to The Sun. Harvin-Battle wrote “at no time has the current executive committee violated the bylaws regarding its authority or in conducting Maryland PTA business.”


The Maryland PTA’s attorney, Charles Tucker Jr. of the Hyattsville-based Tucker Moore Law Group, said Maryland PTA board members were denied access to organization resources because they didn’t meet “prerequisites” required by the organization. Tucker said the Maryland PTA had issues in the past, but the current leadership has addressed those problems.

The National PTA, however, said the Maryland group failed to meet the requirements they outlined in the May letter, triggering the decision to restructure.

The state group filed for a restraining order days after releasing its annual report, which alleged the previous state PTA president cashed a $95,000 deposit that was earmarked for building emergencies and improvements without board approval. The state PTA board filed a bond claim to recover the losses, but this decision “spooked” two of the elected officers who subsequently resigned from the new administration, according to the report.

A ruling on the restraining order has yet to be made.