Question: Can the principal disband our PTO?

Our principal told us that he has dissolved our PTO. We’re not incorporated, but we have a tax ID number. We have no formal board but have adopted a “team” concept with two treasurers. Can the principal dissolve the PTO?

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Advice from PTO Today

Elly writes:

Having an employer identification number, the IRS term for a tax ID number, means your group is an independent organization and not an arm of the school. Legally, your principal cannot dissolve your PTO. But as principal, he certainly can make it difficult for you to conduct business on school grounds, or even to send home flyers with students.

Your principal may have had some concerns about your group’s infrastructure. Meet with him to address them while also sharing your parent group’s goals and involvement message. Not every board needs to be ultraformal, but all require some semblance of order. Perhaps he would like to see your PTO operate a little more formally.

Incorporating can certainly give your parent group some legitimacy. So will applying for tax-exempt status as a nonprofit charity with the IRS.

Valid or not, your principal’s perception of your group will most likely determine how much support he gives it at school. Don’t give him any reason to doubt your PTO’s credibility or functionality. If he’s questioning your money-handling procedures or spending decisions, walk him through your budget process and show him the financial controls and safeguards you have in place.

If your principal remains less than supportive of your group’s parent involvement efforts, you’ll need to take the time to educate him on the subject. Plenty of research shows that having high parent involvement raises test scores and reduces discipline problems at school. Convince your principal of this, and you’ll have a new ally.

Community Advice

hsenrichmentpto writes:
can a principal change the president for no reason and change the bylaw to accomindate who he wants as president ?

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