March 14, 2024

Ask WSPTA: Can we fundraise for teachers’ professional development?

Here’s a great question we received recently in the WSPTA Support inbox:

“Is it appropriate for PTAs to fund or fundraise for the cost of teachers’ professional development?”

And here’s the answer, courtesy of WSPTA Finance Officer Liz Nord:

I am going to start with districts/WA state should be paying for teacher professional development.

But we all know that should and is are two very different things, and unfortunately, teacher PD is being cut all over our state to balance school district budgets.

So that leads us to whether PTAs can cover professional development, and the answer to that is yes, if the following two things are met:

    1. The membership has to agree to this spending in the budget
    2. Check your original 1023 to make sure that the purpose that was approved by the IRS doesn’t prohibit you from paying for teacher professional development.

I would recommend that any payments for teacher development are done in one of two ways:

    1. Grant money to the school/district. Use a grant form that makes it clear that all funds granted are to go to professional development. This ensures that the school uses the funds as your members have directed.
    2. Set up a reimbursement system that allows teachers to pay for their professional development, turn in a receipt, and be reimbursed by the PTA for these funds. This requires very clear policies to be put in place that detail what type of PD can be paid for, how much will be covered, and how many opportunities the PTA can cover (dictated by the budget overall).

I recommend the granting option, but I have seen some PTAs use the second option.

Have a burning question you think would make a good Ask WSPTA blog post? Reach out to support [at] wastatepta [dot] org.

Category: Governance , Leadership

Back to Blog