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Can PTO's be FOIA ed?

10 years 1 week ago #164374 by JHB
Replied by JHB on topic Re:Can PTO's be FOIA ed?
If the PTO is an independent organization, then it is not subject to open records/freedom of information. However, your school (if public school) is.

So the caution is that
  • if PTO isn't really independent - if it just sort of exists and is actually more of a school committee, a request could be made of the school.
  • Or if you store records on a school computer, those records could be subject.
That being said, a parent group should operate with a certain level of transparency.
10 years 2 weeks ago #164348 by Craig
Replied by Craig on topic Re:Can PTO's be FOIA ed?
No. Our understanding is as independent organizations, PTOs aren't subject to that level of the Freedom of Information Act. However, 501c3 organizations (with official tax-exempt status from the IRS) must make their annual IRS returns (Form 990-N or EZ in most cases) and their application for tax-exempt status (IRS Form 1023) available for public inspection.

Here's a link to an IRS publication (pdf) that includes a description of the public disclosure requirements for 501c3 organizations:

Editor in Chief
10 years 2 weeks ago #164345 by Sue
Can PTO's be FOIA ed? was created by Sue
I had a strange request and do not know the answer...can PTO - not a PTA be foia ed? As in each member for email and text msg. It would seem as though we can
given the status - but I am unsure. Thank you for your help!
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