Question: PTO financial accounts

A letter came down from our school board that PTO groups are no longer aloud to have a banking account. All monies earned now have to go directly into the schools account. Is this legal for them to do? and if so.. How should we handle tracking and use of funds?

Asked by loraC



Community Advice

wkiwaha808 writes:
To be honest, it actually depends on how your PTO is created. If you are a non-profit 501(c)(3) [tax-exempt] organization that is separate from the school, then the school board has no legal authority to tell you that you can't have a bank account. This is because, your PTO Board would be in charge of any organizational finances. You need to check your bylaws. Some PTO's are formed within the school, meaning that the organization was created under the authority of the administration. If this is the case, then the school board may have legal authority to do so. I hope this helps.

Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
Hi loraC,
wkwaha808 raises some very good points. One other thing to consider: You have a strong standing as a 501(c) 3, but the bottom line is you have to work with the school and the district and it won't do you much good if you have a strongly adversarial relationship. Consider reaching out to them to get more information on why the policy change and expressing your point of view. Highlight the fact that as an independent group, you stand to work more effectively with parents and therefore you'll be able to do more for the schools. Long term, involvement is going to dry up if you are no more than another arm of the district and that means reduced funding for important programs.

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