March 2009

Legislators amended the year-old School Support Organization Financial Accountability Act in 2008, making a distinction between school-sponsored organizations, such as student clubs, and organizations that are not overseen by schools. Under the law, at the start of each school year PTOs and other support organizations not sponsored by schools must prove to their local superintendent that they are nonprofit (although they are not required to become federally recognized 501(c)(3) organizations); must document their goals and objectives; and must provide the names and contact information of their officers. At the end of the school year, groups must provide a statement of all income and expenses.

School support organizations must abide by the rules to be able to use the school name, logo, or facilities to raise money. In addition, before scheduling a fundraiser, groups must get approval from their superintendent.

For more information, go to the Tennessee comptroller's School Support Groups page.