Booster Club Policy Townhall

DeKalb Schools administration would like to create a policy to standardize the process of identifying and approving booster organizations and managing their activities on campus and in the school community. The board has provided input into this policy and now the administration is seeking public input.

Booster Club Policy Townhall
When: Thursday, September 24, 2020
From: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

DeKalb Schools would like to hear from you as they gather public input on the Booster Club policy. Please email your questions to: boosterclub@dekalbschoolsga.org and watch the Booster Club Policy Townhall on DeKalb Schools TV channel 24 or watch online at: https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/communications/dstv/

You may also provide input at DeKalb Schools online eBoard website.

Supporting Documents

Booster Organizations Assurance Letter (Final draft) 07-16-2020.pdf
Booster Organizations Assurance Letter (Redlined version) 07-16-2020.pdf
LEC Policy – Revision v2020 (Final draft) 07-16-2020.pdf
LEC Policy – Revision v2020 (Redlined version) 07-16-2020.pdf
LEC-R Booster Clubs Regulation (Redline version) 07-16-2020.pdf

There are hundreds of booster clubs across DeKalb and some are managed better than others. Given that these booster clubs are private foundations, there has been little oversight or insight into their financials. This policy attempts to address some of these shortcomings and the ongoing problems with many of the booster clubs.

Proposed Booster Club Policy

Booster Organizations (PROPOSED)
The DeKalb County Board of Education encourages parent participation in all aspects of student life in the DeKalb County School District. Parents and others who wish to support school programs are encouraged to participate in various booster clubs and other parent volunteer organizations, which play an important role in supporting, encouraging, and advancing school programs. To foster an understanding of the roles and functions of these support organizations and their relationship with the schools and to exercise appropriate fiduciary responsibility for the oversight of funds generated and expended by these organizations, the Board of Education authorizes the Superintendent or designee to develop basic guidelines for the establishment and operation of booster clubs and other school support organizations and the management of their funds.

Definitions:
Booster Club – Any parent or community-led volunteer organization that supports specific school programs in the District, other than PTA’s, PTO’s PTSA’s, or organizations such as Foundations that support the school as a whole.

The DeKalb County School District establishes the following guidelines for the establishment and operation
of all booster clubs supporting District schools:

1. The sole purpose of a booster club is to support a school and its programs.

2. Each booster club must receive annual authorization to operate by the local school principal.

3. Each booster club will have written bylaws with clearly defined objectives approved by the principal or his/her designee.

4. Each booster club will abide by federal and state laws and all Board policies and District procedures and guidelines.

5. The principal will assign a school sponsor, who will be a staff member within the relevant school program (ex: band director for band booster club, coach for athletic booster club). The sponsor should attend all booster club meetings and serve as the official representative of the school.

6. The principal or his/her designee will be invited and encouraged to attend all booster club meetings.

7. All fund-raising activities in support of the school must be reviewed by the principal or his/her designee and be consistent with all relevant Board policies. Any on-campus fund-raising activity must be approved by the principal. Booster club activities must not conflict with or detract from instructional time.

8. The principal and the school sponsor must be notified of elections of booster club officers at least thirty days prior to the election. At least one officer shall be a parent or guardian of a student enrolled in the school at the time of election.

9. Each booster club will submit annually a list of officers with contact information, corporate registration or renewal, updated bylaws, and banking information to the principal. The principal is required to maintain a booster club file containing this information for review by auditors or administration. Each booster club is required to sign a Letter of Assurances with the school annually.

10. Each booster club will prepare an annual budget and allow the principal or his/her designee to review the annual budget prior to each school year to provide advice regarding its effect on the relevant school program. It is advised that each year’s budget be approved by the general membership following the principal’s review.

11. Each booster club will have its own financial account, separate from the school, and will provide access to its financial records to the principal or his/her designee and to District administration upon request. Booster clubs are expected to follow good business practices in all cash handling matters including use of pre-numbered cash receipts or an electronic system that provides numbered cash receipts that identify the amount, payee, and purpose for the payment, and timely deposit of funds. Booster club funds must never be commingled with student activity funds, PTA or PTSA funds, or other school or District funds. Deficit financing and deferred payments are prohibited.

12. Each booster club must prepare and submit quarterly financial reports to the school principal. The quarterly financial reports must include:
a. Statement of Revenues and Expenses
b. Balance Sheet with Current Bank Account balances
c. Statement of Student Dues and Fees

13. Each booster club will have procedures for an annual financial review at the following levels.
a. Booster clubs with annual revenue above $2500 but less than $5000 will participate in an annual peer financial review.
b. Booster clubs with annual revenues of $5000 or greater but less than $25,000 will have a financial review by an accountant who is not an officer of the booster club.
c. Booster clubs with revenues of $25,000 or greater will have an annual financial review by a certified public accountant who is not an officer of the booster club.

Annual financial reviews shall be completed no later than three months following the end of the school year, and a copy shall be provided to the school principal. At any time, the Superintendent may order that a booster club’s financial records be audited by the District’s internal audit department, an independent accounting firm, or other auditor selected by the Superintendent at the District’s expense.

14. Booster clubs are required to become incorporated and are encouraged to file with the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable status. Each booster club is responsible for its own tax filings and accounting and must obtain its own federal tax identification number.

15. All disbursements from a booster club’s bank account shall be by check or booster-club issued debit card only and shall be properly documented with receipts and/or invoices. No cash distributions or cash payments are permitted. Booster-club issued debit cards shall be issued solely to the booster club president and/or treasurer, each of whom shall be responsible for exclusive use of his/her designated card. Any check issued from the booster club’s bank account must contain the signatures of both the booster club president and the treasurer, although the vice president’s signature may be substituted for the president’s signature if allowed by club bylaws.

16. A booster club may donate funds to the school or to the District. Upon the receipt of the funds by the school or District, the booster club relinquishes all control over donated funds.

17. A booster club may purchase supplies and/or equipment to be donated to the school or to the District. The booster club’s purchase of supplies and/or equipment for donation does not obligate the school or the District to pay the vendor, even if the supplies and/or equipment are delivered directly to the school.

18. All donations given to the school will be accepted in accordance with Board Policy DFK – Gifts and Bequests.

19. District employees may not hold office or serve as voting members of the governing body, of a booster club operating within DCSD. Employees are also prohibited from maintaining any fiduciary relationship or relationship of trust with any booster club operating in DCSD.

20. Booster clubs that do not adhere to these guidelines, including those that exhibit serious financial irregularities, may have their authorization to operate revoked by the Superintendent. The assets of any dissolved booster club will be disbursed in accordance with the club bylaws and state law. If a dissolved booster club has no bylaws, its assets will become the property of the District.

21. The principal may share financial and other information reported by the club with booster membership, parents, community or other staff within his/her discretion.

22. Booster club board members must attend DCSD booster organization orientation and training annually.

12 responses to “Booster Club Policy Townhall

  1. A local high school just shut down over the Corona Virus!!!! Schools are not ready to open. The latest CDC just announced on CBS 46 that cases are on the rise again…Take this serious

    4
  2. With the current “virtual school” crisis, I’m not sure that this is the time to start worrying about “Booster Clubs”…..

    3
  3. Oversight is a good thing for all clubs and organizations.

    2
  4. The data indicates that over the last 8 weeks, the number of cases in DeKalb and in Georgia are down. There are 119 “Cases Per 100K(Last 2 Weeks)”. In accordance with the current calculations, it doesn’t look like DeKalb Schools students will be back to school in person anytime in the near future.

    3
  5. Item 13 of booster club regulation requires booster clubs with budgets
    greater than $5,000 to get an independent review of their financials and
    budgets greater than $25,000 to receive same from a CPA. This will be
    cumbersome with regard to volunteer time and expensive. For any time of
    attestation engagement like that, a certain level of professional diligence
    is required. Diligence = time and time = money.

    I believe requiring independent reviews of booster organizations is an undue
    burden when they are already required to make quarterly financial reports to
    the principal. Most booster clubs have policies where the members vote on
    the budget and members have the right to examine the financials. This is an
    unnecessary expense that will ultimately leave less financial support for
    the sports and clubs.

    A second, unrelated concern that comes to mind is the annual training
    requirement for board members / officers. I think that’s a fine idea, but
    would request that it be online and asynchronous so that the volunteers can
    complete it by a deadline imposed by DCSD, but with the flexibility to do it
    as their schedule permits. An even more efficient alternative is to have
    each board member or officer sign an annual attestation that they understand
    and agree to abide by all of the rules and regulations laid out in these
    documents.

    2
  6. Booster Parent

    On a related note, has there been any additional oversight on “pay for play” contracts involving athletic teams? There should be complete transparency where student athletes, parents and the associated booster club are all aware of this type of income and the rationale for playing these often grossly mismatched games. The stakeholders should also know how this type of income is spent for the benefit of the team.

  7. @BoosterParent, Does the pay to play happen a lot? I recall it happening at CCHS under a different principal and superintendent. I also recall it was quite messy.

  8. Are there “Booster Clubs” that are truly active at this time?

    1
  9. Why are we focusing on Booster Clubs with our current situation? How about focusing on the ridiculous amount of paperwork special education teachers are required to complete daily? Another option can be hosting workshops for parents as it relates to the the MAP tests. Sadly, the teachers have to schedule these workshops to train parents. While I think transparency is a good thing, there are other things that should be the focus right now.

    1
  10. Booster Parent

    Stan, how would we know how often this happens? It only came to light at CCHS through an open records request. This is why it needs to be regulated.

  11. Stan,
    Why don’t you just say kids are not going back until fall 2021 or January 2022 since 0-6 per 100k cases is the only way to get to FT f2f?

    1
  12. Concerned Citizen

    Regulating booster clubs is all about DeKalb Schools administration seeking to control any activity even remotely related to public schools, not to mention taking the opportunity to grab money: “If a dissolved booster club has no bylaws, its assets will become the property of the District.” Yeah, not before yet another lawsuit that DCSD is destined to lose because of that pesky Constitution of the United States and the Fourth Amendment.

    DeKalb Schools administration needs to focus on educating children, something they are spectacularly failing to do, before they put on their brown shirts and attempt to stifle the freedom of association.

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