These Pels Law firm attorneys secured a big win in court this week for the National PTA: Jon Pels, Katerina Newell, Christina Buschmann, Kerry Edwards, Alvaro Augusto and Amira Khan.
Press Release from the National PTA Statement on the Alliance for Maryland Parents, Teachers and Students:
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (June 15, 2021)—Yesterday, National PTA took legal action in Maryland court to protect local and council PTAs and members in Maryland. The entity once known as Maryland PTA and now known as the Alliance for Maryland Parents, Teachers and Students (the Alliance) has been providing confusing and misinformation to PTAs in the state, including threating to remove their exempt status and take their assets should they fail to join the Alliance by June 15.
Today, a hearing was held and a consent order was obtained from the court prohibiting the Alliance from operating under the Maryland PTA bylaws, taking control of local PTAs’ funds and/or bank accounts without local PTAs’ consent, withdrawing charters of local PTAs, preventing local PTAs from using their current names without local PTAs’ consent, and collecting any payments due to National PTA. For a period of 30 days, the Alliance is also prohibited from revoking local PTAs’ 501(c)(3) status or their Employer Identification Numbers without local PTAs’ consent. During the next 30 days, National PTA will seek to reach an agreement with the Alliance or otherwise seek additional action from the court to fully resolve this issue.
“Today we were pleased to obtain by consent order—signed off on by the circuit court for Montgomery County—that the allegations in our emergency temporary restraining order filed on behalf of National PTA were granted,” said Jon D. Pels, Esq., legal counsel for National PTA. “We will be issuing discovery related to electronically stored information—including third party subpoenas—to determine what the leadership of the former Maryland PTA was up to. We will continue to work until all of the facts are uncovered and the record is complete and to ensure the good name of National PTA and local PTAs in Maryland.”
“National PTA’s primary interest is in protecting the assets and the exempt status of local and council PTAs in Maryland as they transition to Free State PTA,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “Our goal continues to be to ensure that all PTAs in Maryland are strong and healthy. We also remain dedicated to supporting the needs of all students, families, schools and communities in the state, especially as our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and we plan for the next school year.”
Local and council PTAs previously chartered by Maryland PTA will continue to be official PTAs under Free State PTA if that is the choice of their members. Their current Employer Identification Numbers will be maintained; they will be covered under a 501(c)(3) group exemption; they will continue to have the benefits of being part of the PTA network and brand; and they will continue to have access to resources, programs and trainings through Free State PTA and National PTA that make a difference for the education, health, safety, well-being and long-term success of children and families in their school communities.
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit PTA.org.