Committee Proposes New Curbs On School Fund Raising

October 10, 1990|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff writer

A committee that has spent a year studying fund raising by PTAs, student organizations and booster clubs in county public schools is close to recommending rules that would limit, but not eliminate, the activities.

The study was prompted by two concerns that came to public attention in 1989.

School officials worried that fund raising was taking up too much class time, and PTA council officers were concerned that individual school PTAs were being asked to raise money for items that the school system should have supplied, such as paper, books and art supplies.

The committee is expected to compile its final recommendations at an Oct. 22 meeting and present them to the school board in November.

A draft of the recommendations is being circulated this week to local PTAs. The public will also have an opportunity to comment at a hearing after the committee's report is presented to the school board.

Rumors that the committee is going to tell organizations they can't raise money are untrue, Janis S. Chastant, former PTA council president and a committee member, told PTA council delegates at the council's Oct. 1 meeting.

She said all members of the committee agreed that "fund raising is here to stay," but that it should be governed by school system policy. The committee included representatives of booster clubs, PTAs, parents, teachers and students.

Committee member Charles E. Scott, who is also the school board's student associate, said he believed a "no incentives" recommendation will eliminate some types of sales that student organizations have used to raise money.

The recommendation would ban use of incentives such as a free clock radio to the top salesperson in a fund-raising activity.

"It will limit what we'll be selling, but I think students will adapt to it and find new alternatives," Scott said.

Other recommendations in the committee's draft report include:

* Fund raising should not interfere with class time.

James R. McGowan, associate superintendent for instruction and school administration and chairman of the study committee, said the recommendation is "a general position that has been taken by the department (of education)."

He said both he and Noel T. Farmer, former associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction, sent memos reminding school administrators of the guideline.

* Door-to-door solicitation is prohibited. Parents and PTA leaders have voiced concerns in the past about children's safety in door-to-door sales.

* Fund raising must be voluntary for school employees and no employee will be required to participate.

* Each fund-raiser must have a declared purpose.

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