Question: Role of Principal regarding spending of PTO money

Does the Principal, who is the primary recipient of PTO money on behalf of the school, have the right to tell the PTO what they can or can not spend their money on? Also do they have voting rights or just oversight rights when serving on the Board?

Asked by kingjofus



Advice from PTO Today

Liz L writes:
Hi Kingjofus,
While your parent group should be independent of the school and make its own decisions, you want to try to work in partnership with the school, not at cross-purposes. If your principal seems to want to have a say in your how you spend your PTO's money, arming yourself with facts—and to an extent, being willing to compromise—can help.

many PTOs budget a certain amount of money for the principal to spend on items or needs as they come up. However, the principal should be required to make a formal written request to the PTO board before he has access to these funds; the request should indicate how the money will be used and how it will benefit the students. The principal may come to the board with additional requests, and your board can handle those requests at its discretion. If your bylaws don’t specify to allocate funds through mutual discussion (with the final decision in the hands of the PTO board), then an amendment would be in order. You do want your budget to support the school’s goals, but you don’t want the school—or the principal—in control of your budget.

In terms of whether the principal has voting rights, check your bylaws. And if your bylaws don't specify, see if you can find some answers from your district about whether there's a policy for this situation.

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