Archive for Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Board probes school fundraiser accounting

February 21, 2007

The money raised from school fundraisers adds up, and one Tonganoxie School Board member wants to be sure there is a proper accounting for money raised and spent from such activities.

At last week's school board meeting, board member Ron Moore said he was concerned about how the school keeps track of money generated through various fundraisers. As an example, he used the football program's annual fundraiser in which players sell $20 restaurant coupon books.

"What is our command and control," Moore asked. "How do you know that if a guy turns in $5,000 in crisp one hundred dollar bills, how do you known $7,000 wasn't raised, or $3,000?"

THS principal Tatia Shelton said ideally, every sale should have a receipt.

"We've got 70 football players out selling discount cards, and how do you get 70 players to fill out receipt books -- or 60 FCCLA members selling trash bags?" Shelton said.

Moore was adamant.

"Certainly there are processes and procedures where we can have some control, and I say it's lacking," Moore said.

Board members also expressed concern that in some instances activity funds might be used to purchase items the school district should be providing.

"We've almost got an underground where the athletic department buys lots of things," Moore said. "Really, it's probably the responsibility of the school district that we buy some of these things."

Principals and athletic director Brandon Parker explained to board members where the money comes from, how the funds are kept track of and what they're used for.

Funds itemized in the schools' activity reports aren't all generated by students going out and making sales.

Some of the other means funds are gained include gate receipts from athletic events, proceeds from the school district's sale of family passes for athletic events, concession stand income and donations.

Moore and board member Leana Leslie expressed concern that school-sponsored fundraisers could put excessive pressure on area businesses and individuals.

"At some point in time it becomes burdensome, and we're probably not there yet," Moore said. "I don't want fundraisers willy-nilly."

Leslie said the schools needed to coordinate their fundraisers.

"Because we are constantly bombarding the community at the same time," Leslie said.

Here's the breakdown of funds available per school at the end of January:

  • Tonganoxie Elementary School, $12,791.
  • Tonganoxie Middle School, $68,612.
  • Tonganoxie High School, $98,382.

TMS principal Steve Woolf said at his school the funds cover expenditures such as paying officials who oversee athletic events, buying coaches and teachers shirts with the school logo on them to boost school morale, and, recently, a new Warrior plaque was purchased to hang in the new middle school's front office. Woolf said the funds also are used to operate the school's Pride program and for various needs of students, teachers and coaches.

Woolf said when money was needed, the person requesting the funds has to fill out a form in triplicate and have him sign off on it.

Also, he said, purchase orders are required for reimbursements.

At the other schools, too, receipts are required for payments and reimbursements, and employees reconcile each other's checking accounts to make sure everything is in order.

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