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New PTO start up/ Super says she is respon. for us if money problem arise

14 years 11 months ago #148376 by hsapto
Our school is a Catholic School and we do not have our own account. All money raised is given to the Parish Bookkeeper and she makes deposits and when we need money, we request the funds first with approval from the principal and then the bookkeeper. We have never been denied money that we feel is needed. This prevents any funny business with the money.
15 years 3 days ago #148261 by pzettler
Agree with the superintendent that thing's have to be done right. Then have them produce the documentation that stated the procedures and process so you can make sure you do the right thing.
15 years 3 days ago #148256 by mykidsmom
I am a CHarter School mom of tens years and as much as we wanted to become a 501C3, it just was not in our $500 budget! Years later yes we should have but in the meantime here is how we had our funds:

First- the school did keep our funds in the early years. We had a mom that didn't think that was right and knew who to go to in our school district (whom our charter was orginialy with) and ask how other PTOs in the district manage their funds. Our PTO was told that the school would keep our funds in a PTO Account and managed by the school with the PTO keeping our own ledger. Our Treasurer then worked with our Business Office to reconcile our account each month and whatever expenses we had was dealt with at that meeting. All our "bills" were handled by fillling out a RFA (request for funds) and approved by the Principal that oversaw the group. It was honestly not a bad set-up. A pain, yeap, but in the five years we did it, ALL OUR MONEY was accounted for.

Okay, then something hit the fan and the PTO was advised by the school DISTRICT to open a separte account at a bank and NOT have our funds co-mingeled with the school. Unfortunatly, the pres. at the time asked the school for help and they opened an account for us at a bank, 30 miles away, impossible to get to and made it very hard to do the bank business we needed to do. We (the PTO) also found out why the District advised us what they did. Our former director was a nightmare (very short version of a two year long battle) and the PTO was able to enlist the help of a very smart Dad to help us get our money from Bank A and into Bank B with the school having NO access. We are not a 501C3 at this point either.

I was one of the last PTO Presidents and what we were able to work out with our new Administrators is the following:
We are to be a committee that reports to the all parent volunteer School Board of DIrectors. Very happy with this and when we have an issue we know we can discuss it with the Board or Admin.
The school does recieve a copy of our bank statement once a month. This is more of a way to cover the PTO than anything else.

We can do this in Colorado, not sure where you are or how your charter was written. Our school's charter is as a parent "run" school which is why we have the all parent school board and the PTO is really to organize volunteers and raise funds for items and scholarships. We were never the School fundraising machine.

Okay, I hope that helps. The most I can tell you that I have learned in ten years is keep talking to your Admin and keep the conversation open and real.
15 years 2 weeks ago #148089 by OregonTreasurer
This really depends on how your PTO is set up legally. If you are your own entity with your own EIN and 501(c)(3) status, then she definitely is NOT responsible if any money problems arises and your accounts should absolutely be separate. On the other hand, if you are using the school's tax id number and don't have your own legal status as a non-profit, but are simply functioning as a committee of the school, then it will be harder for you to argue that she doesn't have a point regarding it coming back on her if the finances are mismanaged in any way. This doesn't necessarily mean that you can't have your own bank account.

It sounds as though you need this woman's cooperation in order for your PTO to function. It may be time for your board, your principal, and your superintendent to sit down for a meeting. If you aren't legally a non-profit, let her know that you are willing to become one. If her real problem is that she wants complete control over what your group does and how the money is spent, then you may have to find a compromise that works for all of you if you're going to be able to function. Some groups automatically have their school principal as a board member in their bylaws, which may help her to feel more comfortable with things.

My personal recommendation is always to become your own entity with your own bank accounts, insurance, etc., simply because it's safer for your group and gives you control over your own money. If our school principal had the ability to access our bank account, he'd spend it as he pleased instead of on the things that we've budgeted the money for, and I know he isn't the only principal like that out there. What is best for us may or may not be what is best for you guys.

There are some great articles on the site here about setting your group up as its own separate legal non-profit separate from the school, and a book is available in the products section that can help with that as well.

HTH!

~Lisa
15 years 2 weeks ago #148087 by FoxMom
This doesn't sound right! How will you write checks out for purchases made?
We have always had our own account, the school district receives a copy of our bank statement each month so they can see what's happening. We get audited twice a year so make sure the books are up to date and nothing is a-miss. I'd look into this some more.
15 years 2 weeks ago #148084 by clcimrha
Hello,
We need advise please. Our superintendent of our charter school has informed us that the money we raise from PTO needs to be placed into the school bank account and not our own account. We feel we should have our own account. She told the principal that she is responsible for what goes on in the PTO and the money. If any thing happens she said it will come back on her. Please help someone. We are all new to this and we want what’s best for the children. The school opened up a bank account because we are earning money. The main charter has an account but the locations do not. The PTO members will not have access to the account only the school will. Give me thoughts and help on this please.
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