KBS Reference Desk: HB 1525 PTO Donations

Q:        If our District receives a donation from our Parent-Teacher Organization designated to fund supplemental educational staff positions, are we required to use the funds for that specific purpose if something else is needed at a given campus?

 A:        Yes. Pursuant to House Bill 1525, enacted September 1, 2021, school districts must accept PTO donations designated to fund supplemental educational staff positions and must use the funds for that purpose only.

The acceptance and use of donations to public schools is governed by Section 11.156 of the Texas Education Code.  Previously, the discretion to spend donations rested solely with a district’s board of trustees (although trustees have been permitted to consider a donor’s requested purpose when lawful). During the recent legislative session, however, subsection (c) was added to the statute, enacted by House Bill 1525, which created a mandatory duty for school districts to accept and use funds as directed when the money is donated by a parent-teacher organization (“PTOs”) and specifically earmarked by the PTO to finance supplemental educational staff positions at a particular campus.

Subsection 11.156(c) became effective on September 1, 2021. The Texas Attorney General has stated that the duty to accept and spend a donation exists regardless of whether a school district has already set its budget for the current school year. See Opinion No. KP-0387.  Accordingly, each school district now has a duty to accept and spend certain PTO donations once all conditions in subsection 11.156(c) have occurred, including:

  • the donation is derived from a PTO/PTA recognized by the district;
  • the donation is designated to fund supplemental educational staff positions at a school campus; and
  • the campus has directed the expenditure for its designated purpose and has specified the time within which the donation is to be spent.

Importantly, the new mandates imposed by subsection 11.156(c) are not without limit. First, the duty in subsection 11.156(c) concerns only a donation from a PTA/PTO that is recognized by the school district. In addition, the duty applies only to a donation that designates funding for a supplemental educational staff position (or positions) at a school campus. Finally, the statute provides that a school district is required to act in accordance with the direction provided to the campus, which includes the specification of the timeframe to spend the donation.

To conclude, districts should consider the new subsection when a PTO donation arrives. For specific questions related to donations, please consult with your local school attorney

Related Posts

Recent Articles

KBS Reference Desk: Decrease in Compensation
May 20, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Participation in Graduation Ceremonies
May 13, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Temporary Custodians of Record – TPIA
May 6, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Driving Students to Polls
April 29, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Authority to Create New Position
April 22, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Booster Club Raffle
April 15, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Returning a Teacher to Probationary Status
April 8, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Termination of Probationary Contract While On Leave
April 1, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Long COVID and Special Education Referrals
March 25, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Pay During Weather Closure
March 18, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Nepotism
March 11, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: New SBOE Rules on Contract Abandonment
March 4, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Web Accessibility
February 25, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Political Advocacy Prohibitions
February 18, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Pay During Weather Closure
February 11, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: House Bill 2581 Procurement Updates
February 4, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: CDL Waivers for Bus Drivers
January 28, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Interstate Travel Liability and Travel Forms Best Practices
January 21, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Updated Stay at Home Periods
January 14, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: On Call Employees Over Holidays
December 17, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Holiday Decorations
December 10, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Removal of Library Books
December 3, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Attendance Waivers
November 19, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: HB 103 Texas Active Shooter Alert
November 12, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Remote Learning and ADA-Funding
November 5, 2021