Question: School refusing to be trasparent with PTSO funds

Our school has control of the PTSO funds. This means when we had a very large fundraiser/community event, they were to pay the bills with money from this account. Now, months later, we are still trying to get receipts, our actual profit, and we just found out that vendors were never paid by those in charge of this account. This is to be a yearly event, but we can't even begin to start the planning because everything is so unclear from last year. Also, we were told by the principal that in order to get control of the PTSO money, we needed to get our own 501c3. We spend hundreds of dollars (that was donated for this purpose) to do this and are in process but will take another 90 days. At this point, we have our EIN but they still won't release the money to us to put into our own account. We have asked for our account statements each month so we can see deposits and credits and many items are missing so we are not sure of our exact balance. We are unsure if the money is even there in the first place. It's not much, so what is all the fuss about with control? We have been trying to resolve this issue with the director and school board for about 6 months but have gotten nowhere. Where should we go from here?

Asked by jc_vaughan



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
It sounds like you're going in the direction you need to go, which is getting your 501c3 tax-exempt status. If you've already been talking to the principal and the school board, I'm not sure what else you can do in this current situation. Although I agree it sounds ridiculous. They should be giving you regular statements showing how much money is in the account. If it's a separate account vs. being put in the school's general fund, that would be fairly simple. However, I wonder if in fact the money has been co-mingled with the school's money and bookkeeping hasn't been as clear as it should be. If I were you I would continue to push for an accounting, but I'm not sure you'll get it.

Answer this question: