Board Adopts State Required Financial Reporting Policy for School Fundraising Groups

March 13, 2008
Dwayne Page

Any school club or booster organization raising funds in the name of the school system must adhere to new state law known as the "School Support Organization Financial Accountability Act"

The DeKalb County Board of Education adopted the policy on first reading Thursday night.

Public Chapter 326, Acts of 2007 enacts the "School Support Organization Financial Accountability Act" which requires local education agencies to adopt a policy concerning local school support groups. The policy must be in place by July 1, 2008.

The policy must require, at a minimum, that local school support groups do the following:

Furnish a form stating the organization's status as a nonprofit organization, the goals and objectives of the organization and the telephone number, address and position of each office of the organization;

Provide an annual detailed statement of receipts and disbursements to the applicable school principal;

Maintain a copy of its charter, bylaws, minutes, and documentation of its recognition as a nonprofit organization

Maintain financial records for a period of at least 4 years;

Operate within the applicable standards set by a related state association, if applicable;
Ensure that funds are safeguarded and spent only for purposes related to the goals and objectives of the organization;

Get prior approval from the director of schools or the director's designee before the organization undertakes fundraising activities that utilizes any property or facilities owned or operated by the local education authority

Provide access to all books, records, and bank account information upon request to the local school board, local school principal, or auditors of the office of the comptroller of the treasury.

The act prohibits school representatives from acting as a treasurer or bookkeeper of a school support organization and prohibits a majority of the voting members of the group's board from being school employees.

The principal of a school may agree to allow an authorized school support organization to operate and collect money for a concession stand or parking at a related school academic, arts, athletic, or social event on school property without the prior approval of the director or his designee. Any money payable to the school pursuant to the agreement with the principal will be considered school support group funds and not student activity funds if the school support organization provides the school with relevant collection documentation required by the student activity funds manual produced by the state

These groups would be subject to audit by the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury.

The board is expected to adopt the policy on second and final reading next month.

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