Shaler Area PTO treasurer accused of taking more than $25K
Rebecca Hirt, who has been treasurer of the Burchfield Primary School PTO in Shaler Area School District since June 2017, is accused of taking more than $25,000 from the PTO bank account and a school dance funded by the organization.
According to a criminal complaint, the PTO co-president became suspicious when a $5,000 check from the organization bounced. A review of the account showed Hirt had written several checks to herself for cash and personal needs.
The complaint said Hirt used the money because she said she became “overwhelmed by debt.” She called her actions a last resort.
“The Shaler Area School District has been made aware of the charges that were filed regarding misuse of parent teacher organization funds, and we are cooperating with authorities and providing support in their investigation,” the district said in a statement. “While the parent teacher organizations do support our students, they are independent organizations that operate through proceeds from fundraising activities and not tax dollars. We will be working with the school to make sure previously scheduled activities and events are not affected and also provide support to the district’s parent teacher organizations to put safeguards in place to ensure all funds are used appropriately.”