Question: Dispersal of Funds Raised to Classrooms

Is it common practice for PTOs to only allow those teachers who are members of the PTO to ask for funding for their classrooms? It doesn't seem quite fair to me for the students who are involved in the fundraising campaigns to not be eligible for PTO funds in their classroom because their teacher has chosen to not be a member.

Asked by rogersla



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
I wouldn't call it common, but some groups do limit funding to teachers who are active in the PTO. It's a bad policy for a few reasons. For one, as you note, it doesn't just affect the teachers; it harms the students. In addition, while PTO leaders might see it as a carrot to get teachers involved, teachers will inevitably see it as a stick to punish them for not participating in the PTO. Instead of creating enthusiasm among teachers who want the grants, it will create hard feelings from teachers who are denied the same opportunity. And in a lot of cases, this policy is based on unreasonable expectations of teachers to attend after-school and night events. For one thing, some teachers may live in another town and have children in another school where they would like to get involved. And most teachers do help the PTO, even if they don't attend meetings or functions. They devote class time to passing out flyers, collecting fundraising money, reminding students to return their field trip forms, etc. PTO Today founder Tim Sullivan wrote a terrific piece on this topic called Let Teachers Teach.

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