Question: Legal Use of Classroom Fundraiser and the PTO

Can the PTO take money that a grade specifically raised for graduation events and obsorb that money into the general fund? When asked how much money was raised the PTO will not tell us the exact amount. I need case law on this. Any help, Please

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
This sounds like the grade had a fundraiser that was run by the PTO? If that was the case, then checks/funds from the fundraiser were likely directed to the PTO with the understanding that the PTO will now use those funds to pay for graduation-related expenses. Has there been an indication that that won't happen? When the PTO was asked about the money raised, was the treasurer asked? It could have been a situation of that treasurer not yet knowing how much had been raised (perhaps funds were still coming in or funds had not yet been totaled). Or, perhaps another PTO member was asked and they didn't have immediate access to the information. But, definitely, the PTO should be able to get you that information to you. Also, if the fundraiser was for a specific grade, is there a chance a parent was involved and may know how much was raised? It seems like there's an opportunity to ask a few additional questions to key people involved and that may clear some of this up. Good luck!

Community Advice

SailAwayAK writes:
Depends on the PTO's policies. Our PTO does hold funds for teachers, classrooms, and activities in accounts. However, after the event has closed or at the end of the school year those funds roll into the PTO's general fund and are used on other activities or teachers training opportunities in the next year.

I would ask for a review of the policy and or reviews the policies of the national PTA if that is what your parent groups bylaws consist of.

Community Advice

John305 writes:
Our PTO bylaws doesn't address that specific circumstance, but in practice we communicate openly as to how much money each event raises. It is mostly but not entirely up to the grade level chairs as to how end of year graduation and promotion monies are spent. However the President and Treasurer are still overall fiscally responsible and may question frivolous spending. There is a desire by graduating chairs to empty their account but they need to remember they may be setting precedents that the board is not comfortable with.

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