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Inappropiate Funds??

11 years 6 months ago #147158 by CrewChief
Replied by CrewChief on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
OK, deep breaths. As more of the story unfolds, it doesn't seem nearly as tragic as it did at first sight.

JHB is great at helping to put things into perspective. Staying calm in the eye of the storm and looking at the big picture is important. Gathering as many details as possible is also very important.

After reading through everything, I have to say that I'm not at all alarmed.

1. Teacher Appreciation is an important part of most parent group supported activities.

2. $600 toward a holiday event for teachers isn't outside the budget for many parent groups.

3. Having something away from the school and in a more elegant atmosphere makes the teachers feel special.

4. Not including the aides and support staff was where the principal chose to draw the line. We often find ourselves in similar situations when planning activities.

5. The "we've always done things this way" statement is unfair. This is a new principal who's trying to do things a bit differently. It's OK if it's not the same as it's always been.

Here are my suggestions to you and your team:

1. Take two deep breaths and then reassess your reaction to this situation. Could there have been a bit of overreaction?

2. Applaud the principal for asking in the first place. She didn't have to.

3. Also applaud her for trying some different things to help boost teacher morale. A nice dinner in a warm, homey holiday atmosphere sounds lovely!

4. If you feel that aides and support staff also deserve a holiday treat (I would agree!) then work with your team to plan something. Holiday themed baskets, a cookie exchange with items donated by parents and the PTO are nice. Pizza, sandwiches or other catered lunch is also good.

5. Let the principal and teachers who participated in the dinner know that you hope they had a wonderful time and that you're glad the PTO was able to contribute to their evening.

Really, the dinner has already taken place, everyone had a great time, and the PTO can take partial credit for it. Turning it into a negative situation puts an unfair spotlight on the principal, makes the teachers feel guilty instead of appreciated and, overall, will create a rift between the pto and the school.

If you and your team really feel that this was over and above what the principal's fund is intended for then draft a more specific use policy for the fund and vote it in at a future meeting.

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."
11 years 6 months ago #147159 by JHB
Replied by JHB on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
CrewChief - you make some excellent points.
11 years 6 months ago #147161 by tk2mom
Replied by tk2mom on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
Do you think you would have had a different response if $200 of the funds not gone to alcohol? I do think that is inappropiate but I'm coming from a school district that's had principals and asst principals in the news for DUI. They are there to set an example for OUR children and maybe drinking (no matter how minimal) and driving isn't a good example and I could see the PTO having a problem accepting that expenditure.
11 years 6 months ago #147162 by tk2mom
Replied by tk2mom on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
CC...I'm usually pretty much in agreement with your posts. Sorry, but not so on this one. PROTEACHER 100 %. Teacher appreciation, definetly. Trying something different, cool. Holiday event for staff, awesome. $600 for 25 people (excluding part of the staff) to go to the principal's home and enjoy steak/shrimp/salmon and and $200 worth of alcohol, NO WAY. Yes, tk2home, I think that makes a big difference also. PTO funds should never be used to purchase alcohol. And how much alcohol does it take for 25 people to have a dinner party???? For goodness sake, this is a school we are talking about. The way I read lostinpa's posts, the principal had already spent about $450 already out of her $1600 "budget". I read it that this was for 2 events for the entire staff. Makes no sense to me how $600 for just part of the staff could be justified, no matter where she held the party. This might be different, maybe (for some, anyway), if she had "snacks" at her home for the entire staff. Otherwise, this was a PARTY funded by PTO funds at the principal's house. A nice atmosphere could be created at the school, for that matter. Unless I'm missing something, this principal wanted to have a fancy shing-dig at her home and wanted the parents to pay for it. I would be curious to know if the teachers that attended realize that PTO funds were paying for their steaks, shrimp, salmon and drinks. Maybe people look at these things differently in larger towns, but this would never fly in our little community. Not sure who would get the worst end of the parent's wrath...the principal/teachers or the PTO officers....hahahaha Good Luck tk2mom in resolving this issue.
11 years 6 months ago #147164 by tk2mom
Replied by tk2mom on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
I love to see different points of veiw on any subject but am a little surprised at some of the ones defending this principle. The yearly budget for this principle is not very large and she seems to have used all of it providing food for the teachers. I am certainly in support of doing nice things for the teachers but this seems a bit excessive. I do not see how spending this kind of money on one event is necessary. In this economy where there are families that cant even afford a reasonably priced dinner it seems that there could have been a little more thrift in planning this event. I wonder how the taxpayers would feel about their fundraising money being spent in this fashion.

11 years 6 months ago #147165 by tk2mom
Replied by tk2mom on topic RE: Inappropiate Funds??
"...would never fly in our little community."

Never say never, there was a member in these message boards a couple years ago that reported they served beer and wine at their general PTO meetings!

While THAT might be a bit much, there are bound to be different feelings on this issue. For adults, alcohol is a perfectly legal beverage.
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