PTO Today Q&A

Question: board oversight?

Our district school board recently informed our PTA that we must get their approval for anything we want to donate to our school. Is this a common practice? Do we have any recourse?


Asked by Anonymous

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Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
It's not a common practice, but it does happen. There are a few things the district might be worried about. They might be concerned about the difference in assets among schools in the district. For instance, if one school has a parent group that raises lots of money and donates lots of items to their school that other schools don't have, that can be a problem at the district level. You end up with one school that becomes more desirable than the others. The district would like to keep all schools on the same level. Another concern might be whether parent groups are donating items to schools that then require the school to pay for upkeep -- thus increasing the school budget. Whatever the reason, you don't really have recourse in the sense of being able to appeal to a third party to overturn the decision. Instead, you have to settle for making your case to modify the rule so it works better for you. For instance, can guidelines be created that will expedite the process? Can paperwork be minimized in most cases? Can donations only over a certain dollar value need to be approved? One argument in your favor might be the sheer volume of what parent groups donate to schools. A poorly designed process could cause a lot of extra work for the district and lost opportunities for schools that have to wait until red tape is cleared.


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