Question: PTO President is emploee of school

Is this a conflict of interest?

Asked by burke3265



Advice from PTO Today

Rockne writes:
I personally don't think so, but I've seen bylaws that disallow it. To me, a PTO is an organization dedicated to increasing parent involvment and making your school a special place for your kids. I don't see why a teacher can't help with that or lead that.

Community Advice

katiegirl writes:
i feel that when staff members get involved you'll see more parent involvment

Community Advice

JHB writes:
It's strictly an organizational policy issue. I worked with one PTO that didn't allow a staff member to serve in one of the 5 ELECTED positions. But the Board was very large and included 4 school officials (Principal, Vice Principal, 2 teacher reps), plus a staff member could serve as a committee chair. (Actually, in that case the principal aske for the clause whene we re-wrote bylaws. He considered it a conflict of interest from his side, not wanting one of his employees in those roles.) Another PTO had no such restriction. Usually if teachers/staff were officers, it was because they were also parents. But that wasn't required. The school nurse was president a couple years and did very well.

Community Advice

JHB writes:
I do have to add that as president I had a fabulous relationship with our principal. He was very supportive. Even so, there were times I had pursuade him around, times he said "no", and a few rare times I had to garner the support to force his reluctant agreement. It would have been much harder in those situations to fully represent the PTO's interest if I also had been under him as an employee.

Community Advice

badpants writes:
I guess I am the dissenting opinion. In general, I believe it to be a conflict. But it's possible that it could work out great! As a parent, I would be uncomforatble knowing that the president is involved with decisions that could pertain to her job. For instance, voting to increase/decrease the funds alloted to teachers for start up costs, or funds allotted for gifts at Christmas or which teacher(s) are the highest/lowest priority for any items that the PTO might be considering purchasing for their use. Any of course, how hard the principal may lean on the president to sway the voting towards the principal's liking. On the other hand, if you group membership is not strong, a teacher in that position could be just the thing needed to boost things. And of course, none of the things that I find to be an issue could be an issue at all. There are just too many variables to guess.

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