Question: "Scholarship/Gift Fund" for teachers

Our school is located in an area with a large population of low-income families. Our teachers put forth quite a bit of their own money for students whose parents cannot pay for supplies or events---not to mention the basics teachers spend of their own money. We so greatly appreciate what our teachers do and wish our PTO could sponsor all of those families rather than them feeling obligated to pay for students. We would like to create a "Scholarship Fund" in which teachers can draw from whenever there is a need. (child needs shoes, school supplies, money for field trips, etc.) We were alternately thinking of "gifting" a set amount to each grade level or teacher to use on whatever they needed. Can we just give it and not require receipts or specific documentation? I, personally, would like to see this achieved in the simpliest way possible.

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
That's a very generous idea and, in my opinion, very appropriate for a PTO. The most typical way to do this is through the principal. You donate a certain amount of money to the principal as a discretionary fund. He uses it to help children in need -- for all the reasons you mentioned. The distribution of this money is confidential by nature, so you don't want a complete accounting. However, you should ask for a descriptive account of how the money was spent. (ie $225 in field trip fees for three students; $50 in personal items for two children). In your budget, you might allocate $2,000 for this purpose, for example. The money would go to the principal in $500 increments. Once he spends $500, he gives you the general accounting and requests another $500. You could do this by grade level -- it would just require more work to administer on your part, and there might possibly be an increased chance that the money is used in ways you don't intend in some cases.

Answer this question: