RRE book fair money missing, LISD and Texas PTA investigates

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

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The PTA of River Ridge Elementary in Steiner Ranch hosted a fall book fair, and it was recently discovered that not all of the deposits from the school fundraiser were made.

“The district was made aware of a RRPTA issue, and the district is supporting both the River Ridge PTA and the LISD Council of PTAs as they work their established processes and procedures to investigate discrepancies in the the financial documents of the RRPTA,” said Veronica Sopher, spokesperson for Leander ISD.

Book fairs, like this, raise thousands of dollars for schools, and sources say likely thousands were allegedly not deposited.

“We know this has been a very emotional issue for many of our River Ridge families, and we are working to ensure that the campus learning environment is not negatively impacted by this PTA issue,” Sopher said.

Christina Morales, RRPTA president, posted a letter on the PTA website on April 11 that explains what happened. During a routine review, the PTA’s chairman and treasurer discovered a “significant discrepancy in the amount of deposits that the PTA should have deposited” for the fall book fair that took place in November.

The letter further states: “After review it was determined that not all deposits were accounted for from that time frame.”

Morales and RRE principal Jim Rose were immediately contacted.

“Per our bylaws, the books have been closed and turned over to a board approved committee to perform a financial reconciliation. At this time, the PTA Board and the Texas PTA are awaiting results from the Financial Reconciliation Committee before proceeding with further action,” the letter further states.

Leander ISD school PTAs are supported by the local Council of PTAs, which is then supported by the State of Texas PTA.

The State PTA has been made aware of the issue and their staff have been offering guidance to the RRPTA Board on how to proceed, Sopher said.

“The process is very transparent, and once a review of the financial documents is complete, a report will be made available to not only the RRPTA membership, but to the Council of PTAs, and the district as well,” she said.

Once all of the facts have been verified, the results of the Financial Reconciliation Committee are expected to be delivered on Monday, April 28 at a membership meeting.

“Our focus is always on student learning, and we are supporting the PTAs as they complete their process,” Sopher said.

The RRPTA board voted on April 10 to postpone the RiverRidge Rattler Roundup until “we can ensure the integrity and accuracy of our funds. In the interest of keeping full faith and trust of the RiverRidge PTA intact, we ask for proper time and discretion with all parties involved,” the letter went on to say.

Items donated or tickets purchased for the Roundup are being handled, and the PTA does plan to have a Spring fundraiser in May.