Funding issues with Principal

Recently our Principal told us that the PTO must use its fundraiser moneys equally between all the class grades. Meaning if we have $1800 in our account it has to be divided by all 6 grades equally. She said that is in the "School Board Policy which is driven by State Statute governs how we manage school accounts." Does anyone know anything about this in Florida? How is that possible if we can fund Teachers Application week with the money?

When you think about it, that rule makes some sense on an educational policy level (not talking about PTOs at this point). Say 4th grade test scores are down. You don't want a school hiring personal tutors for all of the 4th graders and paying for it by firing a 5th grade teacher. That's an extreme example, but it illustrates the general idea. Funding something like teacher appreciation week, which benefits all teachers, doesn't favor one grade over another. To apply this policy to the PTO means that you are limited to funding activities and programs for the whole school or making sure that your programs don't favor one grade over another -- for example teacher grants would have to go to teachers in each grade in equal amounts. I'm not familiar with the specific Florida statute, but I think applying it to PTOs is probably an extreme reading. The school district is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars per grade. The PTO money is a comparative drop in the bucket. You want to support the whole school, but you also want to be able to fill in the gaps in district funding (of which there are many these days)-- to help out when a need arises. And those needs don't always arise equally by grade. I think your argument is that the PTO is an independent organization (if that's true of your group) and not a "school account." You'll strive for equality, but a dollar-for-dollar match doesn't make sense, especially with the relatively small amount of money involved. I'd also suggest calling other PTO leaders in the district to see whether they're being subject to the same rules or if your principal is enforcing them more strongly than other principals.
- Craig
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