Question: Teacher as PTO president?

Does a classroom teacher becoming the president of the PTO cause a conflict of interest even if he is a parent of students in the school?

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Advice from PTO Today

Elly writes:

Many school districts and towns do have policies that prohibit their employees from holding an elected position in the same town, so Elly says check with your town clerk or business office. You’ll also want to check your group’s own bylaws to see whether there are any restrictions.

Assuming it’s permissible on all accounts and he’s been elected by your group’s members, then Elly says his dual role should be OK. Of course, if this dad/teacher/president wants to use PTO funds to send his own children on an all-expenses-paid vacation, then Elly would say yes, his situation presents a conflict of interest. And if he’s proposing an annex with a teachers’ spa (for gentlemen only), well, Elly’s thinking he’d have some conflict there, too (albeit a good recruiting tool for male teachers)! But Elly highly doubts your teacher president has those sorts of intentions.

Now, even though this dad is likely on the up-and-up and his motives for involvement are true, that doesn’t prevent members from perceiving otherwise. So you might want to establish a few guidelines to assure members that no teacher biases or preferences will enter the picture during his tenure, particularly during PTO meeting proceedings. Basically, your president should abstain from voting on matters that could directly affect him or his classroom specifically. This would include matters such as individual classroom projects, activities, field trips, etc. And you may want to kick him out of the room when your board talks up its plans for surprises and activities during teacher appreciation week, too.

Community Advice

jenilou28 writes:
I personally think it is a conlict of interest and should not be aloud. Until recent years, this practice has been aloud in our school district. However, our district finally wised up established a book of guidelines and rules for school support organizations. Now, no district employee may serve as a PTO officer. Check with your district to see if it has a set of guidelines as well.

Community Advice

mlinder writes:
I don't think a teacher should serve as president, but I don't have an issue with them serving in other positions on the board (providing your school allows it).

Community Advice

Makiya writes:

Community Advice

Makiya writes:
We are going to be back

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