Question: School committee involvement

Under Mass. General Law ch. 44, sec. 53a, the schools need to get approval for any donated funds before using them for educational purposes. Thus, if our PTO pays for a field trip, the school committee wants us to write the town a check along with the invoice for them to pay it. Is there a law that states the money must physical flow through them or can they just approve the expenditure and we pay for it directly? This would be the situation for many other enrichment programs that we conduct.

Asked by Kennedy551



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
This does seem like an overly strict interpretation of the law. I'm not a lawyer, but I think you can argue that you are donating, for example, bus services for the field trip rather than money to pay for bus services. Try talking to neighboring school districts to see how they handle this situation. (You could start by talking to PTO leaders at schools in those districts.) If you can document that other districts aren't setting such a strict policy, and demonstrate that the policy is a significant hinderance to your group and the school, you might be able to get it overturned.

Answer this question: