Help-Can a school take over the PTO?

This is a discussion on Help-Can a school take over the PTO? within the Other Nonprofit Law Issues forum, part of the NONPROFIT LAW & FUNDRAISING category; We,the newly elected members of our local PTO are trying to get our very unorganized PTO in order to best ...

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Old May 10th, 2008, 11:42 PM   #1
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Confused Help-Can a school take over the PTO?

We,the newly elected members of our local PTO are trying to get our very unorganized PTO in order to best benefit our kids. We have had a treasurer in office for many many years, and the PTO never has money or is in the hole at the beginning of the year. Recently, our school principal asked the treasurer if the PTO would pay 1/2 for painting one of our buildings, and she asked the president of PTO who told her that it would need voted on. Come to find out that she told the principal that it was ok and they hired someone to paint (this person showed up the day after we had a PTO meeting and voted it down). Also, at this same meeting, we elected new officers for the following year. However, once we found out about the actions of the current treasurer, the current President, the newly elected President, treasurer, and secretary went to see the principal on this matter the next day, but the principal said that we really could not do anything since the man was already hired. We told her (after a lengthy discussion among ourselves), that we would ok it (the amount for PTO to pay would be appr. $850) only if the new officers could take over immediately and the checkbook turned over to the new treasurer. The principal aggreed and wrote up a letter for us to take to the bank and transfer the new officers' names to the account and taking off the old. Her letter stated that the "PTO has elected new officers, effective May 5, 2008". The bank changed the account, but the treasurer refused to give us the checkbook, stating that she had until July 1, 2008 to give it to the new treasurer. As new officers in control, plus the "past" year's president, we decided that it would be best if we closed the account and opened a new one. We went the next morning on the 9th and had it done, but was called later from the bank manager saying that the principal and the old treasurer had called and said that we were not in control yet. The bank manager said to freeze the account until they got a letter from the superintendant or someone from the school with who was actually to be on the account. We just want to know our rights on this matter. At the time, no one had the bylaws, but we finally found an old president who had kept them, but there is nothing in them saying who had final say. The only thing that it says really is that the P.T.O. "is a local, non-profit, unincorporte organization, and is in no way associated with the state or national organization known as the Parent-Teacher Associatio (P.T.A)" and "The organization shall be noncommercial, nonsectarian, and nonpartisan." : "In the event of the dissolution of the organization, its assets shall be assigned to any succeeding organization or the assets shall be turned over to the activity fund (018) of the xxxxxxx Elementary School."; "The officers of this organization shall consist of a president, one vice-president, a secretary, and a treasurer." ; "The executive committee shall consist of the officers of the organization and the principal of the building." ....there was more, but this was the only thing pertaining to the situation (I believe). The questions are: is the school allowed to make decisions for the PTO on this matter, and can the principal or school make a decision on their own to disband the PTO (the principal has threatened this)? Also, who would ultimately get the left over money (as I do not believe there is a activity fund) Can we start up a new organization right away to still keep the money that we raised. This is such a mess, but thank you for helping. --RB
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Old May 12th, 2008, 07:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help-Can a school take over the PTO?

You need to have a close review of the founding documents to see what is the structure and who is responsible.

That can vary widely but normally it indeed is independent of the school and you as a group make the decisions.
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