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What is the difference between PTA and PTO?

I just got back from my very first PTO meeting. During the meeting the President slipped up and said PTA and she then corrected herself and said that it will take a while to get use to saying PTO since they changed. I believe that PTO stands for Parent, Teacher Organization and PTA stands for Parent, Teacher Association. So, what is the difference?


Asked by JeremysMom at 9:26 PM on Sep. 15, 2009 in

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Answers (8)
  • PTA is a national organization that each school must pay dues to, and follow their guidelines. PTO is done independently by each school who uses it and isn't associate with any national organization....hope that makes sense..and helps.


    Answer by momjoy1027 at 9:33 PM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • Thank You!

    Answer by JeremysMom at 9:36 PM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • PTOs don't need a principal when they have meetings where ptas usually do. PTOs have more leeway to fundraising.You don't pay a fee for ptos but you always end up paying somewhere.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:53 AM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • they are all the same to me full of snobs nd elitists who think they are better than everyone else!

    Answer by elananme at 10:02 AM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • Elananme, so a parent who wants to be involved with their child's school and education is a snob and an elitist? Either I am not understanding your connection here or you had a bad experience at a PTA/PTO meeting.

    Answer by JeremysMom at 10:08 AM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • I have hd several bd experiences with pto/pta, every one i have ever tired to be a part of were nothing buch elitist snobs who thought they were better than everyone else. I have found other ways to be involved in my childrens education without having to pay to be ostracized!

    Answer by elananme at 11:27 AM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • wow, I'm on my child's PTO and I don't think of myself as a snob. However, I do love my designer handbags. LOL

    Answer by Ladybugkisses76 at 4:08 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

  • I can understand elananme's frustration.

    I wanted to be involved in the PTA/PTO at my children's schools very much. However, every attempt I made to get involved, the moms who had all known each other for years found ways to make me feel excluded. It was made clear to me (and not so subtly) that the fact that I was a divorced, working mom somehow made me "less".

    I would get multiple flyers home about the PTO needing "help" and as soon as I responded offering to help - I'd get back "we actually got all the help we need, but we'll keep you in mind..." and then next week, ANOTHER note home requesting help. And of course, having them literally turn their backs on me to talk to someone else at a PTO function is always fun.

    Obviously, they wanted help *other* than mine.

    My mother expressed the same frustration when I was in school, except they flat out told her that her involvement was "neither expected nor desired".

    Answer by geminilove at 6:56 PM on Sep. 16, 2009

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