Question: How to get along?

I am currently having some issues with they way things are done in our PTO. I am a fairly new member and my ideas and opinions do not seem to matter. Communication is almost non-existent, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing! It seems that there is a core group of members that make all the decisions, including how the money that we raise is spent, even if other new members do not agree with it. I have talked with the president of our PTO and addressed my concerns but nothing seems to get better. Has anyone else had this problem? I really want to continue being in the PTO but am having a really tough time convincing myself to stay!

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
This may or may not make you feel better: Lots of people have had this experience. There could be a number of reasons why this is the case. Sometimes, a PTO has a board that has been working together for a while and they honestly don't realize they are perceived as a clique that isn't interested in new ideas.

Our advice: Don't give up. If you care enough to submit this question, you obviously want to help your school. When you talked to the PTO president, what was the response? One idea is to offer to help out, pitch in on an upcoming event or program. Or, do you have an idea for an project? Let them know there is something you want to do to participate. Keep going to meetings and asking questions. You have as much of a right as anyone to help your school.

As far as the spending goes, a board should not be spending money (typically if it is over an amount of a few hundred dollars) without a vote. Ask to see a copy of the bylaws. The rules around spending should be spelled out there.

Good luck and hang in there!

Rose C.

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