Thursday, May 22, 2014

Question of the Week

Should the PTA write a check to the school or school district with the express purpose of the funds going to a particular project or event at a school, or is it better to write the check to the teacher/staff member and they provide receipts to show what they spent the money on?

School districts are often not able to accommodate small grants for individual teachers, so the best way to grant money is to work with your school principal. Ask your principal about setting up a classroom grant for each teacher for specific purposes or about granting money to the building fund to help offset specific costs for the school as a whole. Your school principal will suggest the best way to set things up to be helpful and successful.

The other option is for PTAs to have a line item in their budget available for teachers up to a certain amount of money throughout the year. This option would require a lot of specific bookkeeping on the part of the PTA and the PTA would also need to be very clear about the process for submitting receipts for reimbursement and the type of items covered. One thing to note is that this option works best for perishables items, such as paper or supplies, but if they are purchasing books or cameras then those things are the property of the district/school and not the teacher. This distinction should be made clear to teachers as well.