All disbursements of a student body organization's funds, including club, trust, and scholarship accounts, must be made in accordance with an established system that encompasses sound elements of internal control, good accounting practices, and conformity with regulations prescribed by the school district governing board. See California Education Code Section 48933
Purchase of Merchandise
Requisitions must be submitted for prior approval of purchases of merchandise or services. Purchase orders must be issued for purchases approved by the student council; thus, a student body is not obligated to pay for an expenditure ordered by a teacher, student, or other person who has not first received a written purchase order from the person responsible. These orders must be pre-numbered and printed in multiple copies for the following uses:
- Copy for vendor
- Copy for attachment to invoice
- Copy for numerical file (include any voided orders
- Copy for person initiating request
- Copy for alphabetical file (by vendor)
Other matters to be kept in mind when merchandise is purchased are the following:
- Payment must be made only after evidence of receipt of the merchandise
- Expenditures must be supported by invoices or other accepted documentation
- Disbursements must be made with pre-numbered checks
- Two signatures must be required on checks
Serious legal questions arise when a student body organization enters into a contract. The principal question is whether a student body organization composed of minors is a competent party. Another question concerns the personal liability of an adult who becomes involved in the negotiations leading to the contract. The law governing contracts is complex and difficult to administer. It is suggested, therefore, that careful and prudent consideration be given to every transaction when the monetary obligation may be beyond the financial ability of the student body organization to pay.
The following recommendations are offered in addition to and not in place of existing policies, rules, and regulations covering the disbursement of funds:
- The recommendation of a school site administrator and the approval of the respective assistant or associate superintendent must be obtained for all contracts. When the contract expenditure is to exceed an established dollar amount, the approval of the school district governing board must be obtained
- Availability of funds must be ascertained, and sufficient funds must be encumbered to guarantee payment
- Construction contracts must be entered into by the school district governing board
- Contracts extending beyond the fiscal year must generally be limited. When necessary, however, recommendations 1 and 2 must be observed first
Prohibited Solicitations on School PremisesCalifornia Education Code Section 51520
During school hours, and within one hour before the time of opening and within one hour after the time of closing of school, pupils of the public school shall not be solicited on school premises by teachers or others to subscribe or contribute to the funds of, to become members of, or to work for, any organization not directly under the control of the school authorities, unless the organization is a nonpartisan, charitable organization organized for charitable purposes by an act of Congress or under the laws of the state, the purpose of the solicitation is nonpartisan and charitable, and the solicitation has been approved by the county board of education or by the governing board of the school district in which the school is located.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the solicitation of pupils of the public school on school premises by pupils of that school for any otherwise lawful purpose.