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Inappropiate Funds??

15 years 4 months ago #147398 by PresidentJim
I hate to say it, but "too little too late" on this one. First I'm glad that the party ended up being for the teaching staff. If it was personal friends then things would be totally on the other side of the line. But it did affect the school it was for the teachers, it does fall under Teacher Appreciation, and... she asked and you all agreed. Was it really necessary for her to serve steak and lobster, plus alcohol?... I don't know, it's debatable. Let me ask it this way...

Since this was :discretionary funds, if she ended up purchasing shirts for the staff, with the school lgo, would that have been acceptible?

Both benefit the staff, though I will state that I think she should have included the support staff and aids in her party, but that's a separate discussion.

So, how to deal...

For this one I say you leave it alone and pay for the expenses. She asked, you accepted.

The Executives should discuss this offline and decide if they feel that this type of expediture is appropriate for the future, or not. If not, then the President would need to have a closed door discussion with the Principal explaining. A possible way to deal would be to make a minor change to the Bylaws, indicating something like "All use of raised funds must benefit the students". This could cause conflict in regards to Teacher Appreciation, but it might be better than bringing it up directly with the Principal as you definitely need to keep her on your side.

Hope this helps,
PresidentJim
15 years 5 months ago #147202 by JHB
Replied by JHB on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
Tim's right, so I hope you are planning to have a fair conversation with her. I understand your feelings - truly I do. But it sounds like she asked you if it could be used for a party and you said "yes" - giving her no guidelines or restrictions. So now you plan to penalize her retroactively.

How was she supposed to know how the previous principal used the funds? Was it ever discussed? It sounds like there's room for improvement on the communication side. Personally, I would have lobbied for the PTO paying the $400 for the non-alcohol portion.

Regardless of what does/doesn't get paid for by the PTO, this has the potential to really damage your working relationship if handled badly.
15 years 5 months ago #147200 by guest 2
Replied by guest 2 on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
I think in this time and age where some parents may be loosing their jobs and struggling to survive a party of this magnitude in a small district is irresponsible and inappropriate.
Who takes the responsibility of any person having a accident while driving home with that much alcohol at an event? ($200 per 25 people)

I would refuse to pay for the alcohol but contribute for the food. I would make certain she has written guide lines to move forward.
15 years 5 months ago #147189 by Rockne
Replied by Rockne on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
Quick question: have you guys discussed with her as adults first... before going in guns-ablazin' with all kinds of new rules and dictates?

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I'd think that would be the first step. Sounds like no one has yet stopped by her office and nicely/professionally said: "Wanted to talk to you about the faculty party. From what we've heard, it wasn't what we were used to/expecting. It sounds like a really nice event, but some of our leaders and members aren't comfortable with parts of it. Can we discuss a bit?"

And then discuss. Isn't that step one?

Tim

PTO Today Founder
15 years 5 months ago #147188 by guest 2
Replied by guest 2 on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
Well, here is what is have come up with. We even had someone get some free advise from a respected lawyer --- alcohol is NOT appropriate and should never be covered by a PTO no other facts around that. If something bad would happen and it was a PTO sponsered event, that could only end very badly. So that brings us down to $400 --- we are going to offer to split the difference and pay her $200. We are really all about making our teachers happy, we love our teachers, however we provide several meals and treats and items thru the year. We never tell them no. However, we are a small community, and a $600 expense is huge, and way over the limit of anything we ever take on. We would have been happy to cover a luncheon at school for all staff and teachers to enjoy, however that is not what happened. We are covering half of her expenses, for our mistake on not getting all the information up front. We are putting very specific guidelines in place that our money could be used for. With help from our district office. If it got out to our general membership that these receipts came in, it would not look good for our principal. So we are respecting her enough to keep this with us and go this route. We know she is going to be very very upset, however we are the voice of the PTO and speaking for our membership and the community that supports our fundraisers and hopefully she will not take it personally.
Thank you everyone!
15 years 5 months ago #147170 by CrewChief
Replied by CrewChief on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
Wowweee! This post sure has generated a wide variety of responses! hmmmm, no need to say sorry. We can disagree. You make some valid points.

I guess this really goes to show that there isn't one right answer for every parent group. It's truly very important for each group and it's leaders to know the community it's serving. Whether your community is rich or poor, liberal or conservative, flexible or rigid, or the millions of possibilities in between, the key is understanding your role in the community and serving to the best of your abilities.

I personally have no issue with the party, including the cost and the alcohol, but if tk2mom thinks it was at all inappropriate then she and her fellow PTO leaders should have a polite, respectful chat with the principal and work toward making sure it doesn't happen again.

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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