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Inappropiate Funds??

11 years 6 months ago #147149 by lostinpa
I need some opinions please! Our principal has a certain budget she can spend as she wishes (within reason). We have found out she spent over $600 for a holiday dinner party at her house on a weekend night. She served steak/shrimp/salmon and more. She spent over $200 in alcohol alone! We as a board think this is completely inappropiate. However when she asked if her funds could cover a party and we said yes, we had no idea this is what she had in mind. She is a new principal and may just not know any better, but this is so wrong. She used money raised by us parents to cover this party. Please let me know your opinion! Thanks!!!
11 years 6 months ago #147151 by hmmm
Replied by hmmm on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
As a parent....INAPPROPRIATE !!!! WRONG !!!! IRRESPONSIBLE !!!! A party at her home is considered PERSONAL...PERIOD !!!! I would be very concerned about her priorities as far as the school and children are concerned. Have you reimbursed her yet??? If not, then there would be nothing wrong about you refusing to reimburse for this who-rah time at her home. If so, make sure she fully understands, this is to NEVER happen again. RIDICULOUS. For the officer's sake, I hope no other parents realize that $600 went for something like this. I don't think parents would want to support fundraising for such a thing. Well, maybe if they were there, they might...haha
11 years 6 months ago #147152 by hmmm
Replied by hmmm on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
One more thing...It is quite disrespectful and inconsiderate for her to put you in the position to have to explain this expenditure for her good time at her house. I'll never understand some people.
11 years 6 months ago #147153 by dlf
Replied by dlf on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
In her defense--not that I think she has too much of one here; she did ask. I suspect the definition of party was what was askew here and I agree it was completely inappropriate. I wouldn't want the word to get out either but when it does, and yes it will; you guys are going to have to share in some of the blame.

I once told someone they could order spiritwear (not asking for all the details of the amount). 8,000 dollars later we had spiritwear up the wazzo and a resigned chair. I owned that as my mistake and we sold spiritwear till the cows came home.

Good luck
11 years 6 months ago #147154 by JHB
Replied by JHB on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
Just playing devils advocate here - but how many people attended the party? Are you saying the $600 PTO funds covered ALL the expenses? If so, that amount wouldn't have gone far with the menu you mentioned, so it must have been a relatively small group.

But it might not be so bad if it were a large group (50-60 people) and she paid portions herself and instead of having, for example, a luncheon at school for staff, she did something more elaborate, hosted it at her house, and paid the difference for the frills.

At first glance - it does seem like poor judgement. But there could be a lot of mitigating factors. How big is this fund she can pull from at her discretion? How large was the group at the party? How are the funds normally used?

Years ago when our elementary PTO was doing well ($25K-$45K per year to distribute), we frequently gave the principal supplements to his activitiy fund - the miscellaneous school account he controlled. That year, I think we gave $3000. He always let us cherry pick the expenditures we wanted to claim. For instance, he might spend $500 on paper goods and $500 on a riveting speaker for the kids. Hmmm... when it came time to bullet PTO accomplishments, which one did we want to list as part of our $3000 covering? (Remember, there was more school money than PTO money in that account.)

For part of teacher appreciation week, he brought in folks to give staff chair massages (head/neck) in the teacher's lounge. Because of concerns about appropriateness, we didn't list that item as funded by the PTO. We took credit for the luncheon.

So my question goes back to - was the event FULLY funded by the PTO or merely supplemented?
11 years 6 months ago #147155 by lostinpa
Replied by lostinpa on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
Thank you so much for your responses! This was a party just for our teachers (no aides, or support staff), so about 25 people. She had $1600 to start with, and used $400 for a luncheon at the beginning of the year, and $50 for hoagies. Our last principle used it only for the students - pizza parties, supplies, cd players for classrooms... We have not paid the bill yet. This all happened last night (Friday) - we agreed to pay for a holiday party (unfortunately without questions) but we assumed it would be at school (luncheon) like ALL other events. This is the first time something like this came up. We are just stunned by her actions and when we saw the receipts everything changed. We were not sure where to turn - but we are not comfortable in paying for this. And as the voice of our membership, they would be extremely mad and probally stop supporting fundraisers we it was known what we paid for. Again, thank you -- we are not sure where to turn next for this - but need to do something by Monday morning!
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