DeKalb Schools – New Fund Raising Policy (KEB)

At the May School Board Meeting, a revision to the fund raising board policy (KEB) and proposed administrative regulation were presented to lay on the table for stakeholder feedback.
The administration received many comments on the originally proposed policy. Each comment was reviewed and considered when revising the policy and administrative regulation.
The administration is requesting that the revised fund raising policy and administrative regulation be resubmitted and lay on the table in July and be considered for final approval at the August Board Meeting. This will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to review and comment further on the most recently proposed policy and regulation.
DeKalb Schools hopes to create equity by providing an avenue for elementary schools to also engage in fundraising activities and to limit the potential financial liability from external groups by introducing a regulation providing oversight to fundraising activities that occur on school property.

Fundraising Guidelines
Public Comments – Questions/Actions Taken
Complete Proposed Policy KEB
Complete Proposed Administrative Regulation KEB
Comments on the policy and regulation will continue to be collected at

Fundraising Guidelines
The following guidelines shall govern all fundraising activities. As set forth herein, it is the responsibility of the Principal, Regional Superintendent, Superintendent or designee to ensure that fundraising activities at his/her school, at the central office, or on behalf of the District is conducted in accordance with the Board policy and regulation. If funds, in custody of the school and raised for a designated use, are not spent within an 18 month period, those funds may be used for another similarly related purpose benefiting the school, department or District, as appropriate. The 18 month period may be extended with written approval from the principal.
1. School Fundraisers – School fundraisers are fundraising efforts at elementary, middle or high schools which are planned, managed, and executed by school administration, faculty, and staff. These fundraisers are by recommendation of the school council and approval by the principal. For purposes of this policy, school fundraisers do not include fundraisers by support organizations.
2. Donations – Donations are gifts or bequests made to a school or the District. All donations must be made in accordance with Board Policy DFK: Gifts and Bequests and LEC Booster Organizations
3. Funds raised by foundations/outside organizations – These are funds raised by support organizations and/or foundations that partner with a school or the District to raise funds.
a. The fundraising activities and budget of student organizations and classes must be approved by the Principal.
b. All student organizations must be authorized by the Principal and sponsored by a faculty member. All student organizational activities must be conducted on a voluntary basis and must not interfere or conflict with or distract from instructional time.
c. The school must maintain custody of the funds in keeping with district protocol. All funds collected must be accounted for through bookkeeping procedures prescribed by the Director of Audits & Compliance of the DeKalb County School District and the Principal of the school. The bookkeeping procedures to be prescribed shall include receipts, deposits, and issuance of checks, encumbrances, and purchasing.
Elementary – Fundraising activities, hosted by the school, recommended by the school council and approved by the principal must be school-based and be held on school property unless approved in writing by the Regional Superintendent Requests to hold fundraising activities at another location must also include all relevant contracts, Memorandums of Understanding or other documentation for use of the proposed venue. If a school has no functioning school council, then the Regional Superintendent will review with the school principal prior to approval.
Middle and High – Fundraising activities hosted by the school may be held on or off school property. However, fundraising activities at another location must also include all relevant contracts, Memorandums of Understanding or other documentation for use of the proposed venue.
Applies to fundraising efforts which are planned, managed, and executed by school and support groups, which include: PTAs, PTSAs, booster clubs, other parent support groups, 501(c)(3) organizations and community support groups such as foundations.
Fundraising activities may be conducted by registered support groups such as Parent Teacher Associations, booster clubs etc. All support group hosted fundraisers on school property are subject to sections 4(a) and 4(b) of this regulation.
1. The organizations must be registered with the school and approved by the Principal in writing and exist to enhance the curriculum goals of the school. If a school has no functioning school council, then only the principal’s written approval is required.
2. The organization’s program of activities and budget must be planned in conjunction with and approved in writing by the Principal.
3. Activities must not conflict with or detract from instructional time.
4. All items purchased by support groups and donated to the school for use by the students and/or faculty become the property of the DeKalb County Board of Education and must be entered on the inventory of the school.
5. Elementary school students are prohibited from participating in door-to-door, fund-raising activities sponsored by the school. Those efforts sponsored by support groups must provide adult supervision during these activities.
6. Deficit financing and deferred payments are STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
7. Support groups may partner with schools but must maintain custody of funds raised until expended or donated.

Public Comments – Questions/Actions Taken

For the last two months, the administration has Collected Public Input on the proposed policy. They collected and addressed each comment in a  Summary of Public Comments. Here are the highlights
Stanley – The revisions seems to remove the building level leader (Principal) from having the authority to control the fundraising activities for their school. Action Taken: Regulation revised to have school level approval.
Weatherly – No approval process should hinder the PTA from doing their job or stalling school support efforts. Action Taken: Doesn’t apply to PTA
Ann – The PTSA is very concerned with the provision of the proposed regulation that “All fundraising activities benefiting a school shall be approved by the Regional Superintendent” – Action Taken: Removed
Henderson Mill ES PTA- Issue with fundraising only on school property. Allow Principals to oversee and manage funding. Action Taken: Language has been revised
Jodi – It is unclear exactly what fundraisers fall under “parent support groups” regulations versus “School-based fundraising activities.” Most elementary schools have some version of a book fair. Action Taken: Support groups are only impacted by this regulation if the fundraiser is held at a school.
Jodi – Many elementary schools conduct an auction event. Alcohol is usually served. – Action Taken: If the PTA’s school host these off of school grounds, then OK.
Thomas – We should let individual schools, programs, PTSA groups, and principals work out their own policies. – Action Taken: This policy only applies to school sponsored events.
Sharon – Fundraising plans should be managed at the local level. Schools need flexibility to adjust plans as needed. – Action Taken: This policy only applies to school sponsored events.

6 responses to “DeKalb Schools – New Fund Raising Policy (KEB)

  1. Tim DeBardelaben

    So no more fish fries or carnivals at Elementary Schools. E.S. Students can’t sell advance tickets. So almost all events will have deficit spending with only a hope and a prayer they will turn a profit. Why if something is donated to a particular school does it belong to DCSS and not school it was donated to? With DCSD believing in deficit spending… can they tell a school group not to.

  2. The DeKalb County School System does not like it when the school foundations and PTAs raise a relatively small amount of money for school and classroom improvements that far exceed what the school system provides with their massive budget. Makes the school system either look cheap, wasteful, incompetent, or all.
    So, in an effort to discourage the foundations and PTAs from further embarrassing the school system, all benefits and items purchased by the fundraising become the property of the school system to be distributed around the county as others see fit. Oh, and it will be harder to raise that relatively small amount of money that does make significant improvments. Just wait until the items purchased by the foundations and PTAs for their local school disappear. This will effectively destroy the foundations and PTAs desire to make improvements because they won’t be felt locally. “But, it is for the good of the County as a whole to distribute these items where they are needed. They will be used within the school system, maybe not at the school where the funds were raised, but they will benefit the students somewhere.” Yeah, that system works well until the Foundations and PTAs cease to exist.

  3. Stan Jester

    I don’t see where the policy promotes the distribution of funds to other schools. Historically, funds are generally used as they were intended. I don’t think the district wants funds lingering in custody of the school but not getting spent. If a 501(c)(3) has the funds then the school district can’t touch it. If a school has the funds and need them to be in the bank for an extended period of time, this policy makes it easy for the principal to extend the 18 month period.
    “Everything donated to the school becomes the property of the DeKalb County Board of Education” – All the things at a school are the property of the school district.

  4. I actually laughed when I read under the heading “Upoort Groups” the following:
    6. Deficit financing and deferred payments are STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
    The DCSD recommended a billion dollar budget to the BOE that requires deficit spending that will not be reimbursed by funds take. In. Not a good plan, and for the type of fundraising falling under this policy, funds must be spent before they can be raised. The plan is always that any amount spent won’t be reimbursed and become a donation if insufficient funds are not raised. Unlike the DCSD budget plan, these support don’t spend more than they take in.

  5. Stan Jester

    Alanis Morissette plays in my head every time I think about it.

  6. William Blackwood

    Stan – “Ironic,” or “Jagged Little Pill”?