Thursday, August 01, 2013

PTA Fundraising Changes

I did speak with Teresa Wippel, SPS Communications.  Our conversation helped clear up some issues but my reading of the RCWs cited now muddies it. 

I will follow up with Teresa and the SCPTSA President to try to get more clarification but here is what I was told.  (Also, I hope the SCPTA president sends out a detailed explanation of what school PTAs can and cannot do with these types of funds and how to handle them.)

The district had been working with the SCPTSA last year on this issue as the Washington Association of School Business Officers (WASBO) told the district they were not collecting the funds from on-site, school-hours fundraising properly. 

They cited two RCWs - 28A.325.010 and 28A.325.030

What the district is saying those RCWs say is that students should partially benefit from any proceeds of these events, not the PTA.  The money - 10% or $1500 - should go into the school's ASB fund.  I was surprised as I hadn't really given much thought to an ASB at the elementary level.  I asked her who decided how the funds are used and she said she thought it would be the students.  Interesting. 

Now, of course, the adults could guide the students in that choice so, in the end, the money stays just where it should - at the school.  The district, according to Wippel, wouldn't be taking any.

BUT, you have to read the RCW.

010 - says this:
The board of directors of any common school district may establish and collect a fee from students and nonstudents as a condition to their attendance at any optional noncredit extracurricular event of the district which is of a cultural, social, recreational, or athletic nature: PROVIDED, That in so establishing such fee or fees, the district shall adopt regulations for waiving and reducing such fees in the cases of those students whose families, by reason of their low income, would have difficulty in paying the entire amount of such fees and may likewise waive or reduce such fees for nonstudents of the age of sixty-five or over who, by reason of their low income, would have difficulty in paying the entire amount of such fees. An optional comprehensive fee may be established and collected for any combination or all of such events or, in the alternative, a fee may be established and collected as a condition to attendance at any single event. Fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the associated student body program fund of the school district, and may be expended to defray the costs of optional noncredit extracurricular events of such a cultural, social, recreational, or athletic nature, or to otherwise support the activities and programs of associated student bodies.

What I don't see is fundraising.  Also, it states that "fees" shall be put in the district's ASB fund, not the school's.

District: The money would first be deposited into the general ASB account under that school's account. 

030 - says this (partial):

All moneys generated through the programs and activities of any associated student body shall be deposited in the associated student body program fund. Such funds may be invested for the sole benefit of the associated student body program fund in items enumerated in RCW 28A.320.320 and the county treasurer may assess a fee as provided therein. Disbursements from such fund shall be under the control and supervision, and with the approval, of the board of directors of the school district, and shall be by warrant as provided in *chapter 28A.350 RCW:

District: the money goes into the general ASB fund and then the school ASB can access them.

Nonassociated student body program fund moneys generated and received by students for private purposes to use for scholarship, student exchange, and/or charitable purposes shall be held in trust in one or more separate accounts within an associated student body program fund and be disbursed for such purposes as the student group conducting the fund-raising activity shall determine: PROVIDED, That the school district shall either withhold an amount from such moneys as will pay the district for its direct costs in providing the service or otherwise be compensated for its cost for such service

This seems to imply that schools need to pay the district a fee to oversee these funds.  

District: The district may charge a fee to oversee the ASB fund. Seattle does not. ASB oversight done at the schools (principals, activity coordinators and athletic directors) is charged to the General Fund as is the accounting done at central.

and then there's this:

Findings -- Intent -- 2000 c 157: "The legislature finds that current law permits associated student bodies to conduct fund-raising activities, including but not limited to soliciting donations, to raise money for school sports programs and school clubs. However, students also want to conduct fund-raising activities for charitable causes, such as to fund scholarships and student exchange programs, assist families whose homes have been destroyed, to fund community projects, and to rebuild the Statue of Liberty.

     The legislature further finds that current law is not clear how student groups may raise funds for charitable purposes, whether proceeds from any fund-raising activities can be used for charitable purposes or only donations may be used for charitable purposes, and whether recipients must be "poor or infirm." This has resulted in considerable confusion on the part of students regarding what type of fund-raising is permissible when funds are raised for charitable purposes by student groups.

     It is the intent of the legislature to allow students to broaden the types of fund-raisers that they may conduct for charitable purposes in their private nonassociated student body capacities, and ensure that these funds will be separate from student body funds to avoid constitutional issues pertaining to the gifting of public funds." [2000 c 157 § 1.]

This is fundraising in the students private capacity, which follows separate rules.


Anonymous said...

Here is a statement directly form the district today:

To comply with state law, Seattle Public Schools developed new procedures for school-based fundraising. If fundraisers occur during the school day and involve students, we are required to ensure that students receive a portion of the proceeds. We worked with PTSA leadership during the past school year to create these procedures, which are aimed at making sure that our students retain a portion of the proceeds for events that they participate in. As a result, if a PTSA fundraiser is an activity that is co-sponsored with ASB, 10 percent – up to $1,500 – goes to the school’s ASB fund.

N by NW

Anonymous said...

I have always understood that any fundraiser that students participated in, even off-school-grounds-after-school-hours activities, went to ASB accounts not PTSA or boosters. Funds that go through PTSA, like graduation
expenses, may only be raised by adults not students. I do not think that is new. It sounds like a change to say that only 10% of students' fundraising and only during the school day, needs to go to ASB.

PTSA is a non-profit & is a more attractive organization for donors than ASB which is not tax deductible. If students can raise funds after school & run them through PTSA instead of ASB, it will work better for some fundraising groups.

This could also affect student travel like band & sports trips. Currently they are run through ASB because of the liability insurance offered through the district & the students involved in fundraising for them. But PTSA also has liability insurance. So if student fundraisers can be mostly run though PTSA instead of ASB that would allow adult volunteers to oversee those budgets instead of ASB officers doing the oversight.

Lots to think about.

-HS parent

Anonymous said...


It is that way at Nathan Hale. Any participation by students in the fundraising means the money goes to ASB making it more difficult to access the funds unless you have an ASB member part of the group raising funds. So for say gymnastics, all fundraising for the team is done by the parents and the funds are held in the sports boosters account for gymnastics. Those funds are much easier to access and buy needed equipment. Cheerleading on the other hand, has several ASB board members so the cheerleaders have lots of student participants in fundraisers. It is easy for the cheerleaders to access their ASB funds because they have ASB board members.


In the know - really said...

@-HS Parent - You are correct. The District's explanation, and the PTSA's, is incorrect.

In the know - really said...

"The district may charge a fee to oversee the ASB fund". Again, the district is worng. That is only for "Nonassociated student body program fund moneys", not ASB Public Money.

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