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1000 - By-Laws
1800 DONATIONS GIFTS AND GRANTS TO THE DISTRICT
The Board may accept gifts, grants and/or bequests of money, real or personal property, as well as other merchandise which, in view of the Board, add to the overall welfare of the School District, provided that such acceptance is in accordance with existing laws and regulations. However, the Board is not required to accept any gift, grant or bequest and does so at its discretion, basing its judgment on the best interests of the District. Furthermore, the Board will not accept any gift, grant or bequest which constitutes a conflict of interest and/or gives an appearance of impropriety.
At the same time, the Board will safeguard the District, the staff and students from commercial exploitation, from special interest groups, and the like.
The Board will not accept any gifts or grants which will place encumbrances on future Boards, or result in unreasonable additional or hidden costs to the District.
The Board of Education will not formally consider the acceptance of gifts or grants until and unless it receives the offer in writing from the donor/grantor. Any such gifts or grants donated to the Board and accepted on behalf of the School District must be by official action and resolution passed by Board majority. The Board would prefer the gift or grant to be a general offer rather than a specific one. Consequently, the Board would suggest that the donor/grantor work first with the school administrators in determining the nature of the gift or grant prior to formal consideration for acceptance by the Board. However, the Board, in its discretion, may direct the Superintendent of Schools to apply such gift or grant for the benefit of a specific school or school program.
The Board is prohibited, in accordance with the New York State Constitution, from making gifts/charitable contributions with School District funds.
No District officer or employee shall directly or indirectly receive any gift having a value of seventy-five dollars ($75) or more, whether in the form of money, services, loans, travel, entertainment, hospitality, etc., under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence the performance of his/her duties. However, the Board of Education welcomes the writing of letters or notes to staff members expressing gratitude or appreciation.
Nothing herein should be construed as prohibiting the traditional exchange of holiday gifts provided discretion is used to ensure that gifts of value are not accepted by staff employees or officers. Gifts from children that are principally sentimental in nature and of insignificant financial value may be accepted in the spirit in which they are given.
Additionally, all business contacts will be informed that gifts exceeding seventy-five dollars ($75) to District employees will be returned or donated to charity.
Accounting for, and Oversight of, all Donations, Gifts, and Grants
All gifts, grants and/or bequests shall become School District property. A letter of appreciation, signed by the President of the Board and the Superintendent, may be sent to a donor/grantor in recognition of his/her contribution to the School District. Such items may not be returned without the approval of the Board. All items are subject to the same controls and regulations as other district property, and shall be deposited or inventoried accordingly.
Gifts and/or grants of money to the District shall be annually accounted for under the trust and agency account in the bank designated by the Board of Education.
Soliciting and Accepting Gifts, Grants or Donations
Prior to seeking any grant or donation, the applicant must obtain prior approval from the district. Teachers seeking grants or donations for their classroom must obtain approval from the Building Principal. Other staff or administrators seeking grants or donations to benefit an entire school or the district as a whole must obtain approval from the Superintendent or his/her designee. Grant applications for funding of more than $5,000 require prior approval by the Board of Education.
Approval shall depend on factors including, but not limited to: compatibility with the district’s educational program and standards; availability of existing district resources; whether ownership would deplete district resources; and its impact on the equitable distribution of district resources.
All grants and donations must benefit the district and be congruent with the following principles:
- The district's mission, vision, core values and beliefs.
- The district and school goals that positively impact student performance.
- The district's instructional priorities and strategies.
- Equity in funding.
- Conform to district governance and decision-making procedures of the Board, central office and building-level staff.
- Provide a value or benefit that is greater than the obligation under the grant award.
- Not violate management and/or bargaining unit rights and responsibilities.
- Not carry any conditions that would divert school or district efforts away from the district's primary mission.
The Board reserves the right to deny approval of solicitation of any funding or grant application which does not contribute towards the achievement of the district’s goals, or which would deplete the resources of the district. The Board may approve seeking grants which require a match of district funds or resources when the initiative has been identified as a priority by the Board and when such funds are planned as part of the district budget process or can be accommodated by the current budget.
All solicited grants and donations must be formally accepted by the Board.
Coordinating with Support Organizations
The district encourages independent support organizations (e.g., booster clubs, parent-teacher associations, education foundations) seeking to make a contribution of money or property to first meet with the Superintendent or designee most closely aligned with the organization doing the fundraising and making donations to identify the terms and conditions of the proposed gift and the needs of the district. The Board must approve such gifts and donations prior to any public announcement of the contribution.
The Board shall receive an ongoing report of all gifts, donations, grants, funds, property, and materials received by the district during the school year, and where each was used. It is the goal of the Board to properly account for all district resources and to monitor the distribution of those resources to minimize disparities between schools within the district.
Cross-ref: 1222, Relationship with Booster Organizations
1225, Relationship with Local Educational Foundations
2160, School District Officer and Employee Code of Ethics
5251, Student Fund Raising Activities
Ref: Education Law §1709(12)