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Control of Money

22 years 10 months ago #94457 by bunny2luv
Replied by bunny2luv on topic RE: Control of Money
I am wondering if any other PTO has to raise a certain amount of money as part of an obiligation that is put back into the budget to run their catholic school. Our school board keeps raising the amount each year. We are doing many fundraisers just to meet the obiligation. There is little if any money left over to spend on the children. And if there is any money left, the principal and priest have told us that the school board will determine where the money is to be spent. I find this totally unfair.We parents work hard at each of the fundraisers, and think that we should have some say as to where the money is spent. Our obiligation was $10,000. And in three years it has gone up to $14,000. We also have to give money to the tuition assistance program.
22 years 11 months ago #94456 by Pres88
Replied by Pres88 on topic RE: Control of Money
Check your budget and the by laws. If that amount is in the budget to be spent then it has been approved by the general public to be spent. if it is not in the budget then check the by laws, ours have limits on who can spend what before something has to go to a vote for the general publec.
22 years 11 months ago #94455 by ptomama
Replied by ptomama on topic RE: Control of Money
my question does not have anything to do with my principal or teachers regarding money.
for the past 3 years we have had two presidents working full time and our last president(who was v.p. last year) letting the treasurer run the show. i was on the board two years ago and been helping thhis board tremendously since. but when it comes to buying supplies for our school store and a few other purchases i feel she spends too much. our card party income this year was 15,000.00 and our expenses were 11,000.00. no one questions her. how do other pto boards decide on their purchases?
let me know. i would like to run for president this year and if she run for treasurer we will be butting heads.
22 years 11 months ago #94454 by PresCovert
Replied by PresCovert on topic RE: Control of Money
You need to do two things: set up a budget for your organization with individual line items; decide how you will meet that budget. Every summer, the Executive Board of our organization meets to develop the budget for the upcoming school year. Use amounts spent in the past to help you. Then, project how you will meet that budget, again, using amounts from activities that have raised money for you in the past. We then present the proposed budget for a vote at our first meeting. No money can be spent unless there is an approved line item in the budget. Any requests for funding over and above any line items must be presented to the Executive officers for discussion two weeks prior to any scheduled meeting. Keep a close review on revenues to make sure they will cover your budget; if you feel you will fall short, discuss which line items in your budget will be affected. Good luck.
22 years 11 months ago #94453 by Pres88
Replied by Pres88 on topic RE: Control of Money
For the most part we have a budget for the year and vote it in in May for the following year. In the past teachers came in each month to ask for money but this was stopped before I was at the school. We have budget items to cover various things like field trips, the arts, our events, supplies etc. Each teacher can draw on their lump sum until it is gone for field trips and the like. When we have extra money then the board makes a proposal or asks the staff for a list of needed items and then spending additional money is discussed and voted on by the parents at the meeting.

When ever something comes along in the form of a request, it is presented at the general monthly meeting and if approved we try to fit it into a budget item if possible.

I agree that if you are spending all your time talking about spending then you are not moving forward. If you do not go with the budget at least set up good guidelines.

We give the teachers money each year and the question on how they spend it and whether or not we should require receipts always come up, we do not require them. My thought is that we have to trust that the teachers are going to spend the money on what is best for the students.

Good luck
22 years 11 months ago #94452 by JHB
Replied by JHB on topic RE: Control of Money
I think the keys might be:
1) Planning general priorities for funding before you even distribute money. (i.e., Technology purchases are almost always number 1 for us). You could prioritize using projected amounts or percentages.

2) Developing good lines of communication between PTO Board and school staff.

3) Having a process for requesting funding.

4) Controlling the meeting/discussion so that funding requests move along.

We (a couple key officers) try to meet once each semester with the teachers for an open discussion of what their needs are, what their perception of the PTO is, how we can best work together, etc. That really helps us all set a nice foundation.

As far as control of the funding, our Board has complete control. Usually, a PTO is a separate legal entity and is responsible for its own funds (both raising and distributing). You might need to check your by-laws just to be sure.

We have a pretty harmonious group with the Principal, Vice Principal and 2 teacher reps speaking for the school and staff. Plus various Board members spend differing amounts of time volunteering in the classroom or working on projects with teachers. So, I think our lines of communication are pretty good.

When it comes to funding requests, we encourage people to be as clear as possbible about what they want, and to even prepare a written proposal in some cases. This really speeds things along. For instance, the music director asked us to pay for new stage and lighting equipment. He had a one page summary of the 3 different options and what each would cost. He made a 5 minute pitch during our meeting and gave us the handouts.

Finally, our agenda is laid out so that all funding requests are voted on near the very end. The question/request may come up earlier, in "new business" usually. We have limited discussion, collect the facts, but then wait for a vote (and more discussion, if necessary) at the very end. Then we get to the point where we know everything that is on the table and can make the necessary choices. Plus, the other agenda items (like programs) get handled first and get their fair share of meeting time.

Good luck!
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