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Do we have the right to say NO?

17 years 2 months ago #129345 by PTOMomof three

Holly Eighmy;129298 wrote: For us, all of these requests are voted on by the board. I can tell you that we question it and discuss it prior to voting on it. There are times we choose not to pay for things or table it pending a fundraiser ending or offer to pay for 1/2 or part of it and encouraging the teacher (usually a specialist) to secure the other amount via a donation or the school. Now, not all of the assemblies that we help pay for benefit all of the students. We do things that eventually benefit all of the students, but not always at the same time. For instance, we purchase these "I Like Me" books for the Kindergartners. It costs us about $700. They are wonderful personalized books (www.ilikeme.org). Only the Kindergartners receive them. We pay for the shirts for the entire 5th grade for the annual 5th grade vs staff softball game. We also provide the funds for t-shirts for our Desert Trackers program(similar to JAWS--it's a jog/walk program before school & at lunch). The kids recieve a t-shirt at the end of the year determined by how many miles they completed. This program is open to all of our 750 students who wish to participate. We do provide the funds for a 2nd set of buses for each grade level to take a 2nd field trip each year (our district provides 1 bus per grade level) and all of the admission fees. We also allocate $250 for each of our 6 specialists (PE, Music, Library, Art & Humanities). We deposit that money into their school acct. at the beginning of the school year. These are just a few examples of how I strictly budget certain items into our budget. If there's something else that comes up, they may come to our board meeting and present it. I, personally, do not vote unless it's a tie (I'm the President).
We have declined to pay for an item especially if it's the same teacher(s) constantly coming to us. Just remember, you're not an ATM with unlimited funds. Maybe if you set some strict guidelines, they will really make sure it's something they truly need before coming to you. Kind of like your kids if you only tell them "yes" all of the time. They will expect it all of the time with no regard to anyone else's needs. You know? Something else we do is give each teacher a $50 Walmart gc and each support staff person a $10 Walmart gc as part of their gift for Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week. I think because we do so much for our school that we don't get teachers that take advantage of us or our funds. I would strongly suggest rereading your bylaws and see if what you're doing is actually in there or if it's "just how they've always done it". Since we only have 3 general meetings per year, it wouldn't be feasible to only vote on these things with the general membership. So, for us, our PTA Board handles the voting for requests and we do say no or not right now or what have you done/contacted to help out with this?

Hope this helps,
Holly



Hi Holly,

Thanks so much for all your advice, is sounds like you do as much as we do for our school. I think that is why our board is so upset at these two teachers. And may I say again these ladies are the Libraian and the Art teacher. We would welcome our grade teachers to ask for money.

We also do a lot during the year. We have an Ice Cream social for the whole school in September. We have a Halloween Party for the school, We have a huge fundraiser in November, We have the in store holiday shopping in December, for our Sixth graders who will graduate we have a pizza party, we donate $300.00 to their year book. We pay for their graduation night.
We pay for field day in June. We do a huge luncheon for our Teachers and Staff members. We also give each teacher a $100.00 grant at the beinging of the year (which I would like to raise) and the "Specials" get $350.00 grant due to the fact they have all the students.

We are a new board this year and we did redo ALL of the by-laws. This is something that isn't in our bylaws and feel we should sit and figure out how to work this in to them.

You have all been so helpful and I have learned a lot and I am taking it all to our monthly meeting which is Tuesday. Thanks again to all!!
17 years 2 months ago #129298 by Holly Eighmy
For us, all of these requests are voted on by the board. I can tell you that we question it and discuss it prior to voting on it. There are times we choose not to pay for things or table it pending a fundraiser ending or offer to pay for 1/2 or part of it and encouraging the teacher (usually a specialist) to secure the other amount via a donation or the school. Now, not all of the assemblies that we help pay for benefit all of the students. We do things that eventually benefit all of the students, but not always at the same time. For instance, we purchase these "I Like Me" books for the Kindergartners. It costs us about $700. They are wonderful personalized books (www.ilikeme.org). Only the Kindergartners receive them. We pay for the shirts for the entire 5th grade for the annual 5th grade vs staff softball game. We also provide the funds for t-shirts for our Desert Trackers program(similar to JAWS--it's a jog/walk program before school & at lunch). The kids recieve a t-shirt at the end of the year determined by how many miles they completed. This program is open to all of our 750 students who wish to participate. We do provide the funds for a 2nd set of buses for each grade level to take a 2nd field trip each year (our district provides 1 set of buses per grade level) and all of the admission fees. We also allocate $250 for each of our 5 specialists (PE, Music, Library, Art & Humanities). We deposit that money into their school acct. at the beginning of the school year. These are just a few examples of how I strictly budget certain items into our budget. If there's something else that comes up, they may come to our board meeting and present it. I, personally, do not vote unless it's a tie (I'm the President).
We have declined to pay for an item especially if it's the same teacher(s) constantly coming to us. Just remember, you're not an ATM with unlimited funds. Maybe if you set some strict guidelines, they will really make sure it's something they truly need before coming to you. Kind of like your kids if you only tell them "yes" all of the time. They will expect it all of the time with no regard to anyone else's needs. You know? Something else we do is give each teacher a $50 Walmart gc and each support staff person a $10 Walmart gc as part of their gift for Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week. I think because we do so much for our school that we don't get teachers that take advantage of us or our funds. I would strongly suggest rereading your bylaws and see if what you're doing is actually in there or if it's "just how they've always done it". Since we only have 3 general meetings per year, it wouldn't be feasible to only vote on these things with the general membership. So, for us, our PTA Board handles the voting for requests and we do say no or not right now or what have you done/contacted to help out with this?

Hope this helps,
Holly
17 years 2 months ago #129251 by LynneG
Replied by LynneG on topic RE: Do we have the right to say NO?
You do have the right to say "No." Think about what would happen if you kept on saying yes right on up to the point where you ran out of money for an assembly for the students??? I agree with the other responders that you need to have a budget set. We also allocate a set amount of money for each teacher to use at his/her discretion for items in their classroom. They purchase the items and are reimbursed for them (or they can request a purchase order if they don't want to put their own money out ahead). For additional requests, or large purchases, the teachers must put in a request that is first presented to the Board. We determine if there is adequate funding for the item first and then present it to the membership for a vote. We have also wanted to grant requests, but not have had adequate funds, so a special fundraiser was implemented. Sometimes all it takes for someone to receive something is to ask. Asking also doesn't guarantee the request will be honored. I hope that helps.
17 years 2 months ago #129227 by CapeDad

PTOMomof three;129140 wrote: Yes we do have two savvy ladies and that is why we want to make sure we stop this before it gets out of control.


I think it is great to have people know your procedures well enough to take advantage of them. This is the only way that procedures are tested. If these requests are within the rules, you have to honor them.

As far as the board not voting, I don't think you should have to give up your membership rights to become a leader. You should vote, and yours is likely a more informed vote. Only the president should refrain from voting at a general meeting, except for in the case of a tie.

In our group, the board can 'hold' a request for disbursement. There is no limit to how long, so that would be the way for us to block something if necessary. We only do it if we are very low on funds, though.

These things need to be clearly spelled out in a policy somewhere. Make it in the bylaws and get members involved in the process. Hear debate if necessary, and do what you need to do. Worrying about procedure takes away from the real work.

If you don't expect too much from me, you might not be let down. <img src=images/smilies/smile.gif>
17 years 2 months ago #129209 by PTOMomof three
Sorry Crew Chief, I did mean for "My ohter question is" to be there. Typo I guess. No other question, and again I thank you for all you advice, it is much appreciated!!
17 years 2 months ago #129144 by CrewChief
While I'm waiting for your next question, I'll respond to what you've just posted:

Feel free to use any of my comments. I view this as a public forum and believe anything I post to be public information. I do, though, appreciate you asking and am happy to think that my suggestions might be helpful.

As for presenting all requests to the membership, I'd say that for now you do need to keep doing that. It's the currently accepted procedure and changing it would require an explanation. If you would prefer some sort of review process, write that into the bylaws while you're already working on changing them. My group didn't use such a process so I can't really recommend a good system but other groups do so maybe someone will chime in on that.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same."

"The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat but in the true perfection of one's character."
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