Question: BOE/Parent Organizations. How much input does your BOE have in your finances?
Our Superintendent, BOE and town attorney recently requested that all parent organizations get insurance (with the district named as an added insured), give them an accouting of last year's treasurer's report, give them an accounting of this year's funds within 10 days of a fundraiser and sign a contract indemnifying the district and BOE of any liability should a child be hurt at a school function. We are an OPE, which is very similar to an HSA, and do not know if there is anyone we can go to to see if this is legal. We tried contacting the county, who sent us to the state, who sent us back the county. We are in NJ. I have been on the OPE Board for 8 years and never in that time have they asked for any of this. We were always insured through the town. Is it legal for them to ask for an acounting of how and where we spend our funds? Any input is greatly appreciated, as we are not allowed to proceed with ANY fundraising/activities until we comply with their requests. Also, if any of you are insured, can you recommend an insurance company? Thank you!
Asked by OPEMom
Advice from PTO TodayCraig writes:
Getting insurance is a good idea. We work with an insurer that has set up a policy specifically for PTOs and provides a very low rate. Here's a link to key information you should know about PTO insurance. Regarding the other issues, your books should be open -- transparency is important in PTO finances. I don't see anything wrong with providing a regular report to the BOE. Regarding whether they can block you from fundraising and other activities, they do have control over access to the schools, students, and teachers so they could at least make life very difficult. On the other hand, parent involvement is an important element in creating a strong school, and school administrators know that. The key is to find a balance that works best for both parties. Good luck.
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