Establish financial boundaries for PTAs and other groups

In most districts, booster clubs, PTAs and other entities manage funds at risk of fraud or mismanagement. Districts should clarify that outside-group fundraising is not managed by the school, says James Sullivan, a former inspector general for the Chicago Board of Education and now a managing director at Sikich, a professional services firm.

“Let the booster club or PTA stand alone with its own leadership, bank account and corporate structure, and bear the burden of existing outside the school structure,” he says.

Allowing outside entities to make purchases on behalf of the district also presents risks because this spending, in essence, supplements the district’s budget, Sullivan says. District leaders must be aware of state or local purchasing regulations and bidding requirements that may be violated if a large purchase is made.

“Keeping track of the variety of revenue sources is essential for a district,” Sullivan says.

Main story: Fortify your school against financial risk


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