Question: Is it legal/ethical to handle school and teacher accounts?

I have just been elected Secretary to our PTO Board. We are all new Board members and looked over books/paperwork left behind. Why would the PTO Treasurer be handling money collected from the teachers who are fundraising? Never seen the PTO handle these type of transactions?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
I'd say it depends. It depends on how the money is being raised and how it's being spent. One possibility is that the money is being placed with the PTO to hide it from the school district. The idea is that the district could at any time take money from one school's general account and use it for another school. To protect it from that possibility, money raised by teachers is deposited in the (independent) PTO account. That's a bad situation and could cause some significant problems if discovered -- not to mention that it creates accounting issues. If that's what's going on, I think you're better off co-opting these teacher fundraisers under the PTO banner. Ask them to support your PTO fundraisers in a major way, in return for grants to help them accomplish what they were previously doing through their own fundraisers. Chances are that will be better for all involved, including parents who won't be asked to support lots of different fundraisers -- just a couple of major, all-school ones.

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