Our PTO Spending Survey, conducted this past fall, found some interesting trends. First of all, if you're feeling the pressure to do more for your school, you're not alone. Groups say they are being asked to provide more support this year than last, both financially (54 percent) and through volunteering (47 percent).

Many leaders reported that budget cuts have increased the need for volunteers in classrooms, the library, and even the school office. Some said they are helping fund staff positions ranging from aides to librarians to music instructors. Some more results:

  • The median budget fell in the range of $5,001-$15,000.

  • The median number of regular volunteers, including board members, is 11-20.

  • The largest spending category in PTO budgets: student enrichment (assemblies, field trips, author visits, etc.), at an average of nearly $4,300.


The survey was conducted online, with 589 PTO and PTA leaders across the country responding. More results, including how this survey compares with one we conducted in fall 2011, are online at ptotoday.com. You can also read about it in the March issue of PTO Today magazine.