Maryland PTA loses charter as its president faces unrelated theft charges

Parents and teachers in Maryland are now officially without a PTA after the national organization voted to revoke the state’s charter immediately. This comes amid allegations of theft against the state’s PTA president.

National PTA President Leslie Boggs wrote that after more than a year of trying to bring the Maryland chapter up to national standards unsuccessfully, it voted to revoke the charter.

In response to what she called “unwarranted and aggressive actions” by the National PTA, Maryland PTA President LaTonja Carrera issued a statement to local parents and teachers.

“Do not fret — we are not going anywhere. Today marks a turning point and a fresh start in our 105-year history. No longer will your membership dues be used to fund $1,224,818 in salary and compensation of National PTA top leadership. We can re-focus our efforts and energies on what matters — the students, parents, and teachers of the State of Maryland,” Carrera wrote.

She directed local groups to sign up to join a group “disaffiliated from PTA and remaining within our independent structure, possibly as a PTO.”

Carrera is facing multiple criminal charges of theft, both federally and in Prince George’s County, which are unrelated to her role with the PTA, as first reported by NBC Washington.

Court documents filed in October 2020 in Prince George’s County allege that Carrera withdrew money from the bank account of a woman with dementia, over whom Carrera has power of attorney. A separate federal charge alleges that Carrera took $1,500 in 2019 from a bank account of a veteran who lived in a rehabilitation home she operated in D.C.

“It has nothing to do with my ability to do what I need to do to bring Maryland PTA back on track. My abilities and my personal, two different things,” Carrera told NBC Washington.

Meanwhile, all local Maryland PTA groups are now governed by the National PTA until a new state entity is created, Boggs wrote.

“While we were successful in resolving the litigation between National PTA and Maryland PTA and creating virtual meeting guidelines, we were unsuccessful with the following urgent issues,” Boggs said in her statement.

Boggs said the National PTA needs financial and operational information to confirm proper procedures, establishing annual meeting dates, and defining a nomination process, including electing a president.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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