Do You Pay To Join Your PTO?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I'm just curious how they do it in other schools. We were never asked to pay before, but are being asked to this year. I'm not a cheap person by any means, but I feel like I shouldn't have to in principle. They raise funds for the school-I feel like I pay for a lot of supplies, field trip tickets, snacks myself. So paying them would be like paying double. We're getting a lot of pressure for everyone to pay and I just don't think that's fair and wondered if that was a common practice.
     
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  3. OhThePlaces

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    Yes, we've always paid to join. $5
     
  4. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    No my teacher's association has always paid the PTA each staff member's dues. Even if they didn't I would personally pay.
     
  5. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    We were required to at my old school. It was $5.

    I've never heard of a PTO/PTA at my new school. If there is one, they are not very involved!
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    In the past they've offered a discount membership to teachers. They've gone digital so we don't get membership forms in our mailboxes anymore so I think most faculty forget to join and there's no 'push' to join. This was the first year that I haven't joined because I simply forgot...the PTO doesn't really need teachers membership fees...they raise tons of $ and are very generous. Teachers do support their functions by attending holiday fairs, dinner dance and raffle, military bridge, etc.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

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    We pay and there is a lot of pressure to join. You WILL get called out at a staff meeting if you don't join.

    While I despise strong arm tactics when something is voluntary (same thing happens with different charity drives), I have no problem joining on my own. The PTA does a lot for us at my school. It used to do a lot more, just three years ago, but I guess when certain parents leave, they take certain practices with them. They have purchased one big ticket item for my room that would take a lifetime of membership dues for me to pay back, so I'm definitely grateful.

    A several years ago, though, I did not join. The year before a new teacher to our school did not join. She was broke and did not have a clue what PTA was about. The PTA president, about halfway through the year, placed a letter in her box saying that since she (new teacher) did not join, she (president) expected her to stay in her room while the PTA served dinner in the cafeteria to the rest of the staff. As in, you don't join, we don't appreciate you.

    Our admin and PTA staff rep refused to speak to the woman about the letters she sent out. She was re-elected president the next year and several teachers decided to refrain from joining in protest.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    what a sad story.:mad:
    Our PTO hosts a BEAUTIFUL back to school breakfast for staff, as well as teacher appreciation breakfast with small gift, wish list, buys new indoor recess items for every class, plus many other nice things...just got a surprise $1500 per grade level for books!
    No pressure to join. No exclusion of anyone.
     
  9. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    We always join - $5.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    what a sad story.:mad:
    Our PTO hosts a BEAUTIFUL back to school breakfast for staff, as well as teacher appreciation breakfast with small gift, wish list, buys new indoor recess items for every class, plus many other nice things...just got a surprise $1500 per grade level for books!
    No pressure to join. No exclusion of anyone.
     
  11. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    It had a happy ending - with new PTA leadership things got VERY, very good for a while. We're still grateful for what they do now.

    I was heavily involved in my own kids' schools' PTAs so I know how much CAN be done. There are more teachers at the high school level to support, granted, but there should be more parents who help as well. One of the elementary schools semi-local to me regularly raises over $30,000 each year at ONE fundraiser, their Fall carnival. It is a big event attended by the entire community, not just the school. But such parental devotion and energy dies off as those kids reach secondary school ages.
     
  12. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I don't think anyone at my school has actually paid to join. We are encouraged to attend the meetings.
     
  13. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    We have to pay at my school, but at a discount rate. I think we have to pay $3 to join.
     
  14. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Our PTC is a small group. 5 teachers were selected by the principal and there are 5 parents. There are no fees to join. We are there to offer suggestions from the staff. They are very active and do great things for our school. We can submit requests to them for resources we need. They almost always fund them if they have the money.
     
  15. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Ours uses their funds to pay for scholarships for field trips and they will buy a gift for the school like a bench one year, etc.
     
  16. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We are expected to join. It's $7. We also are expected to join the academic foundation, which is $15, and to give $5 to the PBIS committee. I don't mind any of those. They directly benefit teachers and students at our school. However, I do not appreciate being expected to donate to the United Way each year. We sortof get in trouble if we don't get to 100% participation. The amount that they suggest teachers give is some ridiculous amount, like $150 a month or something. It's like they assume it is the only charitable giving we do. If they didn't allow us to designate our gift to a certain charity, I wouldn't do it. Many of the charities United Way gives to do not meet my standards for charities I will give money to.
     
  17. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    That I don't agree with either. We do something similar, however we are allowed to choose the charity and I always give--I just don't think it's something that should be mandated.
     
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Just curious, how much money are we talking about here? Any PTO/PTA I have ever worked with did such great things for teachers and the schools/students, I can't understand NOT wanting to join. Granted, we're talking about a modest $5 or so, the cost of going to Starbucks for one day (or less!). The feeling that the PTO is loaded and doesn't need your money misses the point - virtually everything they bring in for fundraising/membership dues, goes right back into the school and the support of students, including honoring teachers on teacher appreciation day, trying to fill classroom needs that aren't covered elsewhere (a classroom camera, for example). I choose my charities, but I consider being a PTO member to be an honor. If you want to be upset about membership dues, try being in a union where you don't want to join, and they inform you that is fine, but you are obligated contractually to pay $400 of the $750, a member or not! That is something that I could have more problems with, if I didn't support the union. My school is always wanting us to support various charities, but my answer there is always the same - "I choose, and I give in the privacy of my own home. It isn't open to discussion." Charity is personal, unlike membership, which is a public declaration that you support an organization.
     
  19. KinderCowgirl

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    My issue is that I already spend hundreds of dollars on my kids every year. I feel like since they are supporting us, it shouldn't be demanded that I pay into it. Even if they did a lunch for us or whatever-I'm paying into that myself, so it's not really a gift to me then. Do you see what I mean?

    We just did a big fundraiser and the teachers on my team each spent $20 on the items to be sold (they were doing silent auction baskets)-I felt the same way then. Why am I having to contribute to the fundraiser for my class?

    It's not the money, it's just the principle of it to me. I've worked at schools where PTO never even asked teachers to pay into it, because the work they were doing was for us.
     
  20. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    We have never been expected to pay any money to the parent club, they raise money, but not by charging us.

    This is very unusual for me and seems odd.
     
  21. 2ndTimeAround

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    There are certain benefits PTAs and PTSOs get when they have 100% staff participation. I don't remember if they really amount to much, but I do remember offering to pay for a teacher at my kids' school once because she was the lone holdout.
     
  22. 2ndTimeAround

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    I agree with the principle of it all. When you're having to shell out $$$ left and right at the start of the school year, being forced to give an extra $5 by your administration is a slap in the face.
     
  23. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I wonder if this does not apply in California or maybe our district/school is not an "official" PTA and is just a parent club.
     
  24. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    For various reasons, I choose not to pay for PTA membership.
     
  25. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    My school's Parent Advisory Committee does very little - if anything - and only has a handful of parents involved, maybe 5 to 10. It is not really a parent-teacher collaboration.

    They don't charge teachers to "join" and I don't know any teachers that are members or attend their meetings.
     
  26. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    They recruited us special this year. It was $7. I just bit the bullet and joined. The small group does some awesome things for our school.

    I am annoyed at all the things I'm paying for though. My new team wants $10 every time it's someone's birthday, $5 here for this, $5 here for that....plus everything I buy for class. I don't have $$ for all that %#@^! :lol:
     
  27. 2ndTimeAround

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    I do not contribute to our school's Sunshine Fund any longer. I did every year, even donating extra towards the end of the year when funds were drying up.

    Then in one year both my father and my father-in-law passed away. Not a single card, no flowers sent, nothing. The head of the committee was the one that had to suddenly cover my class when I got the call to go to the hospital. Then five/six months later one of the more popular teachers became a grandmother for the third time. She received a huge bouquet of flowers at school. At the end of the year teachers are generally awarded for major life events - someone got married, had a baby, received National Board certification, etc. Again, one teacher who is part of the in crowd had a baby and then got married a month later. She received gift certificates for both events. One of the more quiet teachers adopted a child and received nothing.
     
  28. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    My pet peeve is we buy my principal a birthday gift, a boss day gift, and a Christmas gift. We are guilted into giving.
     
  29. YoungTeacherGuy

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    No--we don't pay. Our PTC is so incredibly small (3 parents & 3 teachers).

    We do, however, contribute $30/year for Social Club dues.

    I'd venture to say that there's 100% participation; otherwise, the head of the Social Club will send a snarky email and has been known to call people out during staff meetings if they haven't paid yet.
     
  30. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I have worked in 3 different schools and I've never even heard of paying to be in the PTA- for parents or teachers! I guess it's quite common other places since so many mentioned it here. In my experience PTA is simply a group of parent volunteers- any money they get is received through fundraising. It seems very odd to me to ask teachers to pay into it- our PTA always does things like appreciation lunches or helps pay for classroom supplies or field trips. It seems very odd to throw an "appreciation lunch" with money that the teachers paid you...
     
  31. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    We pay PTA a dollar in dues. Our faculty dues are 15 a year for flowers and gifts etc. Our PTA gives us a 200 dollar check to spend as we like.
     
  32. 2ndTimeAround

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    A lot of schools use the term PTA loosely. They aren't officially part of the PTA, they are just parent volunteers. SOMEONE has to pay dues to the real PTA, if not the members, the school itself.
     
  33. Rox

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    I work for a county office of education that provides special ed in different districts and schools. My site has a PTA that I support each year, in membership and during their fundraisers. I also pay out of pocket for membership for each of my students. Unfortunately, because I am not an official employee of their district, my students and I are not welcome to their PTA-sponsored assemblies and PTA-sponsored art class. :(

    Sorry, I made this into my own rant.
     
  34. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    I'm sorry, but I don't have a problem with this. The dues go directly to the National PTA fund. To me, it gives validity to the program, plus my PTA is so supportive and awesome. As a matter of fact, I've yet to encounter one that wasn't. The last three years I've paid the $5 dues and received almost a $1000 in materials from my PTA for use in my classroom. $15 for $1000 seems like a deal. I know that there comes a point when enough is enough, but I think I'd support my PTA before I bought snacks for my kids. I don't know, just my 2 cents.
     
  35. gr3teacher

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    My problem isn't with PTA organizations in general.
     
  36. DrivingPigeon

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    What the what?! I'm so confused...Teachers have to pay to join the PTO? That's completely ridiculous-are you kidding me?!!

    I thought it was a volunteer organization. Why on earth would teachers have to pay to join? I'm honestly incredibly confused.
     
  37. DrivingPigeon

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    That's how it is in my experience, too. At my school it's called the PSA. Parents raise funds to pay for things like books, playground equipment, etc. So, I'm having a difficult time understanding why teachers would pay them money. Anyone can go to their meetings and become a volunteer.

    It sounds like things are really different around the country. Maybe that's why I'm so confused. :confused:
     
  38. TeacherNY

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    We don't have one. Do the parents pay if they want to join? With all the parents out there who NEVER pay for anything for their kids how would they pay for this?
     
  39. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Yes, parents pay a one-time fee for each family that joins. I am curious to see how many parents have done this. I know meetings are not very well-attended.

    I don't think we are affiliated with any national organization. We just do fundraisers for our campus. They do a Fall/Spring Festival, they do silent auctions. Grade levels can come up with fundraisers and the PTO helps them decorate, etc. The money all goes back to PTO and they decide what happens with it. Like I said, they do scholarships for field trips, lunch for Teacher Appreciation week and then usually spend the rest for something like a bench for the school.

    This is the first year we are being asked to pay in.
     
  40. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Our PTSA is quite active. Membership is $7 for adults and $5 for students. Most families join up the whole family. I do not mind paying because the PTSA gives so much back to the teachers and the school.
     
  41. TeacherNY

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    If I had kids in school I would probably join also. I'm just wondering about the parents who complain about paying for anything. Would they be likely to sign up? I'm thinking NO.
     

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