Chancellor’s Regulation A-660 permits PA/PTAs to use funds to hire staff either indirectly by donating money to schools or directly; however, its rules governing PA/PTAs’ hiring of staff are detailed and strict.
While the regulation contains mandates not listed below, it states that PA/PTAs:
- may not hire core instructional teachers (e.g., elementary school classroom teachers or core subject-area teachers).
- may not directly hire supplemental staff (e.g., cluster teachers) but may donate funds to the school for it to hire such staff.
- may directly hire school staff only to conduct after-school or weekend activities (though it may also donate funds to the school to hire such staff).
- may only hire school staff to work directly with students.
- may not hire staff to complete administrative tasks of the association or manage its programs.
- must obtain the approval of the school’s principal whether hiring directly or donating funds.
- must obtain the general membership’s approval of prospective staff the PA/PTA intends to hire directly.
Any PA/PTA contemplating hiring staff directly must understand its legal responsibilities as an employer. CR A-660 makes clear that PA/PTAs that hire staff must comply with all state and federal requirements, such as filing and reporting requirements of the Internal Revenue Service, withholding all federal, state and local employment taxes, and properly reporting these taxes to the appropriate governmental bodies.* In addition, PA/PTAs that directly hire staff are solely liable for claims of any party from any act or omission on the part of the employee, and must obtain a comprehensive liability insurance policy, listing the school, the DOE and the City of New York as additional insureds. For these reasons, the regulation recommends that PA/PTAs donate funds to the school to hire staff rather than hiring them directly.
*For PA/PTAs that hire staff directly, determining whether the worker is an employee or an independent contractor is important for compliance with state and federal requirements. The IRS gives guidance on making this determination here; the New York State Department of Labor has its own criteria, described here.