Question: Budget planning

I was recently appointed PTP president. Although I have been involved with the school for several years, I have never served on the board. My question is what events should the PTO be expected to pay for? Should they pay for a school/sport activity?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
That's a good question with no real set answer. What you pay for depends on the resources and goals of your group and the needs of your school. Along with the common items like family nights, field trips, and teacher wish lists, we've heard of groups funding teacher aid positions, librarians, even being asked to buy extra janitorial supplies.The article What Should PTOs Pay For offers some perspective on how to make a decision like this. The one thing to keep in mind is that although you want to help out with school needs as much as you can, you don't want to spend all your time fundraising. When possible, think about other ways that you can help, such as applying volunteer power to a problem rather than cash.

Community Advice

badpants writes:
I would suggest looking at the last 5 years worth of expenses to see what kinds of things you have funded. Look for things that you have paid for on a regular basis, as well as items that maybe come and go or are just one time expenses. Our group regularly funds a large portion of field trips, the 1st Communion Breakfast, lunch/dinner for staff on Parent/Teacher Conference Day. We also give the teachers money for start up costs and we cover the upkeep for mulch on the playground. We also have a budget for things like keeping our technology updated and making sure each child receives a free book from the spring book fair, whether or not they purchase one and that amount varies from year to year. We also cover the bulk of the cost for many of our Family Fun Events, which keeps it affordable for families to attend. Periodically, other things come up that we are asked to help with, like the SSND Jubillee Celebration. We don't fund any sports, but we have an athletic association that does. This may not be the case for your group, but for us, all of the funds were allocated last year and transfered to another account. So any money we are working with this year will be the $2000 we start with and anything generated this year, which we will then allocate at th eend fo the school year to be spent next year.

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