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PTO-Funded Teacher

15 years 1 week ago #149624 by Jewel
Replied by Jewel on topic RE: PTO-Funded Teacher
While there definitely are cons to a PTO funded position as outlined above by others, there are also significant benefits to be had for the students when a PTO funds a curriculum/staff in a situation where none would be otherwise provided by the district.

In many ways, the decision to fund a curriculum/position is like any other PTO activity: Will the benefits to the students outweigh the negatives of allocating PTO budget to it? If your school is dependent on the district to provide it from their budget, will it ever be provided? Or, how many years will the school have to wait until it's provided?

In our district, our PTO has funded a certain teacher for the past 10 years. During that time, the principal's position has turned over three times, yet each principal we've had has fully supported and approved the PTO funded curriculum/teacher. Sadly, a few other elementary schools around us still don't have the curriculum we do as the district doesn't have the budget for it and because their PTO's won't or can't fund it.

I wouldn't recommend that a PTO step in the middle of the hiring and supervision of the PTO funded teacher, however. These issues need to remain firmly within the principal's hands.
15 years 1 week ago #149609 by Jewel
Replied by Jewel on topic RE: PTO-Funded Teacher

OregonTreasurer;149557 wrote: Our policy may not be the right one for every group. It was simply our experience watching other groups try to do this that it usually ends badly. And in our area it's become problematic enough that the district is considering enacting a policy that would forbid it.

I also think that this is a very bad idea. School taxes or property taxes should fund the schools (if public) or tuition and grants (if private).

Once started, unless stopped because of problems, your PTO would always be funding the position. ("But the PTO has always funded the position!") There is always fat in school system budgets...somewhere. Make your school system fund the necessary teaching staff for your school. Don't let them pass the buck (no pun intended!) to your parent/teacher association.
15 years 2 weeks ago #149557 by OregonTreasurer
We handle projects that take multiple years to complete the same way we do ones that only take one year, or one month. The difference is that multi-year projects like fundraising for playground equipment or new projectors, etc., have a clear ending in that once the equipment is purchased and installed the project is completed. Paying the salary of a staff member is usually an open ended commitment, unless they are specifically only being asked to come in for a set time period to accomplish a specific goal.

And unless it were to take us more than 7 years to complete a project, odds are good that at least a portion of the members who were part of the decision would still be around. But even if the members in later years decided that they didn't want to use that money on playground equipment, for example, they aren't in the position of having to eliminate someone's job (someone who, after several years may have become a beloved teacher whose loss could cause a lot of hard feelings, etc.), because their priorities or budget changed.

Our concern isn't that someone later on might change their minds. It's the awkward position that changing their minds about funding a staff position, (in comparison to deciding that the computer lab needs an upgrade more than the playground does) would put them in. One will put someone out of a job. The other improves a portion of the school no matter which way they choose to use the funds.

Our policy may not be the right one for every group. It was simply our experience watching other groups try to do this that it usually ends badly. And in our area it's become problematic enough that the district is considering enacting a policy that would forbid it.
15 years 2 weeks ago #149555 by Jewel
Replied by Jewel on topic RE: PTO-Funded Teacher
**The big reason we don't allow it is because the members who make this decision today aren't going to be members at our school forever, and it seems unfair to leave future members in such an awkward position if their priorities are different from the current group's. **

That philosophy would seem to prevent your PTO from making *any* plans that couldn't be fulfilled under the auspices of the same board within one school year.

With this constraint, how does your PTO handle projects/improvements that need multiple years to fund before implementation?
15 years 2 weeks ago #149554 by Lisa @ PTO Today
Replied by Lisa @ PTO Today on topic RE: PTO-Funded Teacher
Hi Critter-
We have heard of Parent groups funding teachers. The way it often works is that the principal makes a request to the PTO for contracted services funding.
At the point where the principal makes her request, the PTO votes to gift a certain amount of money to the principal to use at her discretion. This represents a bit of a trust/power game. No one can tell the faculty/principal how to use the money once it is gifted, but the understanding is that the priorities expressed by the PTO members weigh heavily in the final allocation toward contracted services. This way the paychecks to the contracted services positions come from the central office, not from the PTO's treasurer's check book.

Hope this helps,
Lisa
15 years 2 weeks ago #149509 by OregonTreasurer
We actually have a strict policy in place prohibiting this. There are some other parent groups in our district who do, and now with the budget crisis they are in a position where they need to "fire" a staff member (Even though they are not technically the employer, they know that if they don't pay for this then the teacher won't have a job).

The big reason we don't allow it is because the members who make this decision today aren't going to be members at our school forever, and it seems unfair to leave future members in such an awkward position if their priorities are different from the current group's.
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