Here is a brief summary on ASB operations:
Elementary/Unorganized ASB Schools
In elementary schools the ASB organization is called unorganized because, as a rule, the students do not govern the ASB organization. Usually there is only the primary student body organization and no additional clubs with a more focused agenda. Adult education, continuation, special education, regional occupational programs (ROPs) and K-8 schools are also considered to have unorganized ASBs.
Although students in unorganized ASBs raise funds, they usually have more limited involvement in making decisions about the fundraising events and how the funds are to be spent. The governing board delegates the authority to oversee the raising and spending of funds to the principal/school administrator or another school employee, who is able to make all of the decisions related to the ASB operations and funds. Although authority is delegated to the principal/school administrator, the rules and guideline regarding fundraising and allowable expenditures remain the same as those for organized ASBs.
Secondary/Organized ASB Schools
Student organizations in middle, junior and high schools are called organized because the students organize their activities around student clubs and a student council. For secondary schools, oversight is by district administration and advisors. Student body organization exist for students. It’s all about the students fundraising, participating, doing, learning, experiencing, and making decisions. Staff associated with student body organizations are important to their success, but the organization exist because of students, and students must be involved every step of the way. The role of the ASB advisor and school principal/school administrator is not to make the student council’s decisions but to guide and advise the student council and the individual student clubs so they follow laws, regulations and district board policy.
The student council and each club should prepare and adopt an official constitution that is written in general terms and can be clearly understood. The constitution is a written document that defines how a council or club is organized and sets forth the fundamental laws and principles under which it will operate. It should include an organization’s name and purpose, and explain who members can be, how officers are elected, how often meetings will be held, what types of committees will exist, and other related information. To become a recognized part of the student body organization, a club (like the student council) must be composed entirely of currently enrolled students. These clubs must have the approval of the student council and principal/school administrator
Any group of students may apply for permission to form a club by submitting:
- an application
- a proposed constitution,
- a budget; and
- any other required documents
If a group does not meet the club requirements it is not a club and should not be accounted for or included in the ASB account. (See chapter 4 in the FCMAT ASB Guide for more detail)
Because there is a formal process of student governance for organized student bodies, the student council and each club must prepare and maintain a record of each meeting. These records are called minutes, and they serve as the record of each meeting and the actions taken, and demonstrate that the student council or club has followed ASB policies and procedures as well as current law.
A budget is a financial plan for a specific period of time that estimates annual expenses and income and allows an ASB organization to estimate at the beginning of the school year what its financial position will be at the end of the year. When preparing a budget, clubs should be reminded that neither large surpluses nor deficits are allowed when budgeting. Proper budgeting requires adherence to definite, well-understood business procedures.
FCMAT recommends that a club be prohibited from spending any funds until the club has an approved budget for the year. This is a way to ensure that all clubs have established budgets. (See chapter 6 for more detail)
To read more details on fundraising please see chapter 8 of the FCMAT ASB guide.
In short, before clubs can do any type of fundraising the following must be completed:
- Fundraiser Approval Form
- Fundraising Event Profit Form
- Change Box (must be checked out with the ASB Bookkeeper)
- Receipt Book/Tickets/Talley (Can be provided by the ASB Bookkeeper)
After the fundraiser is complete the clubs must:
- complete the remaining portion of the profit form;
- fill out a Deposit form (Must be signed by the Advisor); and
- return the change box/receipt book/tickets/tally sheets to the ASB Bookkeeper
The ASB Bookkeeper will verify deposit amounts and enter the deposit into the accounting system. A receipt will be provided to the club making the deposit for their records. All receipts should be verified to the monthly financial statements when provided to all clubs.
Anything purchased by a district must be in compliance with the law and local board policy, and cannot be considered a gift of public funds. Because ASBs are part of the district, ASB organizations must follow the same laws and local policies, as well as ensure that the funds are spent appropriately. The principal/school administrator and ASB advisors are responsible for ensuring that ASB funds are used to purchase goods and services that promote the students’ general welfare, morale and educational experiences. In general, ASB expenses that meet these criteria are allowable if they are directly linked to the students’ benefit. (Examples of appropriate expenditures can be found in Chapter 14)
Before clubs can make any purchases they must complete the following steps:
- Submit a complete requisition and submit to ASB Bookkeeper. Clubs must ensure a quote for the product or services are submitted with the requisition.
- If services are to be provided a contract must be completed.
The following are best practices for internal controls regarding cash disbursements:
- The Education Code states that all ASB expenditures must be pre-approved.
- Students and staff members should never pay for an expense out of cash collected from a fundraising event.
- The ASB bookkeeper may pay for purchases only after the items have been received and have prior approval.
- The ASB bookkeeper should never allow checks to be signed in advance.
- Personal and 3rd party checks should never be cashed from the ASB account.
- Two signatures should be required on all checks, and all signers should be adults (not students)
- ASB bookkeeper should maintain adequate records and an audit trail.
The principal/school administrator needs to ensure that all club members, teachers and advisors understand that they cannot obligate ASB funds until a purchase order is prepared and approved by the student club representative, advisor, and principal/school administrator or other board designee prior to the purchase. For example, if a teacher places an order or goes shopping for materials without a purchase order that has the appropriate signatures, the teacher is responsible for paying for the goods.