Question: Making our PTO Elementary exclusively.

How do we go from being a PTO group over all of our elementary, middle school, and high school to just an elementary PTO? We are divided into 3 campuses with 3 different principals. We have very little and I mean little help from our middle school and high school staff or parents on any activities or fundraisers. At least,ninety five percent of any work is done by elementary and yet we divide funds equally, because it is a "tradition". The other schools have fundraisers and different organizations and use this as a reason to not participate in PTO events. I myself do not agree with the way this works. I need to know the "legal way" to handle this situation. There are so many more things our PTO could do for the elementary, but I do not feel like it is fair we have to share with the other schools, when there is no work effort on their part.

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
The "legal" way depends on how your group is organized. First, you must vote to make the change. It involves changing your bylaws, so you need at least a two-thirds vote. In fact, I would want to make it as close to unanimous as possible in your situation. You would be changing your mission statement and likely the name of your group. Maybe the address, too, if you don't currently operate out of the elementary school. Those changes must be reported to the state if your group is incorporated. If you are a 501(c)(3) charity, you must report the changes to the IRS as well, on your annual form 990. Another way to handle the situation would be simply to pull back on the support you offer to the other schools. For instance, you can create a middle school fundraising committee and require that it be populated by middle school parents. No parents, no committee, and thus no fundraisers. That would allow you to do some things for the other two schools while not feeling the burden of doing everything that you also do for the elementary school. (It does mean that you should make an honest effort of recruiting for the committee, though.)

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