Facilitator Dick Withycombe welcomed committee members and asked them whether they approved the minutes of their last meeting; the committee adopted the December 6 minutes as submitted.
Adoption of Preliminary Revised Policy and Procedure
The Donations Policy Committee reviewed the current draft of the revised policy, making minor line edits before adopting it unanimously as their preliminary revised policy 6114.
The Donations Policy Committee reviewed the current draft of their revised procedure, adopting it unanimously as their preliminary revised procedure 6114P with minor line edits and with the changes indicated on the following pages.
Executive Director of Schools John Harrison reviewed the next steps in the development of the committee’s revised donation policy and procedure. The first step is to review the preliminary documents adopted today against the school board’s charge, as clarified in September. The next is to share these preliminary documents, including any changes indicated in that review and any recommendations with the board’s policy committee. The committee will then be in a position to share their work with stakeholder groups as appropriate, step three.
The committee will share their preliminary policy and procedure with the PTSA Council, probably at the February 5 PTSA Council meeting. The committee will determine whether additional stakeholder input would be helpful at their January 17 meeting, when they will have a better understanding of the scope of their final recommendations.
January 17 Committee Meeting
The next meeting time has been changed to 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; the meeting will take place in the Baker Room at WISC. In addition to reviewing the preliminary documents against the board charge, the committee will consider additional recommendations. Dick told the group this discussion will include the issues believed to underlie board concerns, as well as any questions in the charge the preliminary documents don’t appear to address.
District Director of Athletics and Activities Jeff Lowell will send committee members a neighboring district’s policy that addresses one such area, and John will draft a recommendation regarding the need for a new district policy about grants.
Dick asked people to take time before the next meeting to review these materials, as well as the September 13 board charge (below). John will bring copies of the donation forms to the next meeting.
Procedure 6114P Draft
Donations to the Bellevue School District may be in the form of cash and cash equivalents or in the form of tangible personal property (equipment and material). Donations may be restricted or unrestricted, and may benefit students either individually (e.g., via a scholarship fund in the Private-Purpose Trust Fund) or in general. These factors determine how the District will account for and/or authorize the donation.
All donations may be used only for purposes consistent with School Board policies and accompanying procedures and where applicable, federal and state laws/regulations and the rules of other regulatory agencies (as an example, the ‘WIAA’). In addition, care must be taken to avoid authorizing inappropriate donations, donations that carry with them unsuitable conditions, or donations that may obligate the District to future General Fund expenditures.
- “Care should be taken” does not mean we never do it; it means we must be aware of these considerations.
- Insert “may” in front of “obligate” in the last sentence.
- Delete “out of proportion to the value of the donation” from the end of the last sentence because it is too subjective a standard to apply reliably.
- Any donation that does not align with these listed guidelines will be returned to the donor.
If donations are designated for a specific purpose, the District will follow the restrictions placed on the donation by the donor to the degree possible. All donations will become District property and will be accepted without obligation relative to ultimate use and/or disposal. For guidance regarding donations appropriately accounted for in the Private-Purpose Trust fund, refer to the section of this procedure titled Donations to Benefit Students Individually.
Should advance-funded designated donations, have a balance remaining after fulfilling the donor’s intent, the District will utilize the remaining funds for similar educational purposes or, if the donor stipulates, will return the remaining balance.
- The discussion of remaining funds prompted the suggestion that one of the committee’s recommendations should be the revision of forms to ensure they are aligned with the revised procedure.
- Delete the last paragraph of this section, which read, “Receipts for government-funded programs (grants) are not considered donations.” The donation policy does not pertain to government funding or funding from nongovernmental organizations such as the National Science Foundation and Puget Sound Energy. There seems to be some confusion about such grants and “grants” from school-support organizations such as the PTSA, but that confusion should be addressed outside the donation procedure, perhaps by developing a new policy and procedure to address grant funding.
- It isn’t necessary to add a definition of “donation” because board policies do not generally include definitions when there is a commonly understood meaning of a word. In this case, that meaning is augmented by the identification of the kinds of donations anticipated.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Prior to dispersal, donations must follow the approval schedule below:
- Less than $1,000
Deemed approved by the school or department through the deposit of funds or inventory of equipment/materials.
- $1,000 and above
Signed approval form by the school principal for donations to a school or the District department supervisor for donations to a central district program.
- $10,000 and above
Add: Signed approval of a member of the District Equity and Inclusion Leadership Team (DEILT or Superintendent’s Cabinet).
- $25,000 and above
Add: Signed approval of a Superintendent.
Change “the superintendent” to “a superintendent” because there are four administrators with “superintendent” in their titles who can approve donations of $25,000 or more.
All donations of cash and cash equivalents will be recorded in the 25000 series of accounts in the records of the District and, if the donation is $1,000 and above, it must be reflected on the Donation Agreement Form for Cash and Cash Equivalents (Procedure 6114P – Exhibit A). E-mail approval may be attained from a member of the DEILT or the Superintendent in lieu of required signatures on the Donation Agreement Form for Cash and Cash Equivalents. For 6114P: Exhibit A to be valid, attach a copy of the e-mail approval.
Matching funds and monetary donations received online must be approved. Prior to the dispersal of matching funds and monetary donations received online approval must follow the schedule above. Matching funds and donations received online that do not align with District policy will be returned to the donor.
Donations of stock will be liquidated upon receipt.
Per District policy 6114, donations will not fund certificated staff. Donations intended to fund District classified personnel shall satisfy all the following criteria:
- Responsibilities of personnel funded by donations shall be consistent with the District’s philosophy and
- The School District will hire and evaluate District classified personnel and the donations must comply with District policy 6114, procedures, legal parameters, and labor agreements.
- No donation will be directed by any donor to benefit specific employees.
- The addition of the personnel will not create a program or position which the District assumes when the funding is exhausted. The program or position ends when the funding ends.
- Donations to fund personnel shall only be for positions that enrich the District’s These donations:
- Do not replace the basic responsibilities/job descriptions of individual staff members, and
- Benefit students in general rather than as individuals, and
- Do not impact class size ratios in buildings/programs.
Tangible Personal Property (Equipment and Materials)
For donations of tangible personal property (equipment and materials) to a particular school or to the District as a whole, the Donation Acknowledgment Form for Tangible Personal Property (Procedure 6114P – Exhibit B) must be completed and sent to the Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operations’ Office with the appropriate departmental and/or school approval included.
For example, the Technology Department reviews and approves/denies donations of computers and computer-related equipment; the Facilities Department reviews and approves/denies donations of playground equipment; and the Curriculum Department reviews and approves/denies donations of books and teaching-related material. In all cases, where a particular school is directly impacted, the Donation Acknowledgment Form for Tangible Personal Property (Procedure 6114P – Exhibit B) will also be sent to the principal for review and approval/denial.
In approving the donation of equipment and material, reviewers will take note of the donation’s suitability and durability and any possible health or safety hazards. If the equipment and/or materials are found to be unsuitable, the principal or department representative will indicate the reason(s) in writing. If found to be acceptable, and if the item(s) need to be installed, the benefiting department or school will submit a work order for appropriate installation.
Donations of tangible personal property must satisfy the following criteria:
- The purpose or use is consistent with philosophy and programs of the
- The District will assume only a minimum financial obligation for installation, maintenance, and
- The equipment will be free from health and/or safety
- The equipment will be free from a direct or implied commercial endorsement except as outlined in Procedure 6102P – District Fundraising Activities: Contests, Advertising, and Promotions.
- Pass-through donations of tickets or other similar items (such as school supplies, reading aids, baseball tickets, etc.) must be appropriate for students and enhance the District’s mission and programs. (Note: nominal classroom supplies provided by parents are considered to be outside the scope of this )
- Administrative Procedure 3515P: Student Incentives provides guidance regarding student awards, prize values, donations and defines de Minimis values for such items.
Note: Donations of tangible personal property become valid only when all appropriate approvals are received.
Note: The Donation Acknowledgment Form for Tangible Personal Property (Procedure 6114P – Exhibit B) states that the District shall not make any attestations as to the fair market value of a donation of tangible personal property. Establishing a deductible value for tax purposes is solely the responsibility of the donor and his/her tax advisor.
All donations become the property of the District. The District will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the intended purpose and use of the donation but reserves the right to utilize, relocate, and/or dispose of the donation, as it deems appropriate.
Move the last paragraph of this section, which read, “Notification of all donations (cash/cash equivalents/tangible personal property) that are $10,000 and greater will be provided to the Board on the Consent Agenda,” to the end of the “Disposition of Donation Agreement Forms” section.
Donations to Benefit Students Individually
Any donation intended to benefit students individually must be recorded in the Private-Purpose Trust Fund of the District, and the Board must formally agree to honor the intent of the donor. Often such donations become a scholarship or student support fund for the purchase of services or goods that would be a gift of public funds if purchased with General Fund money.
The Business Office will work with the donor to draft the appropriate Private-Purpose Trust Fund documents to send to the School Board for approval. Any accounts or funds set up within the Private-Purpose Trust Fund must address:
- Whether the fund is expendable, (principal and interest can be disbursed) or non-expendable (only the interest can be disbursed).
- The configuration of any decision-making group involved in deciding how the funds are to be spent (e.g., a scholarship committee).
- In no case may a donor designate the recipient of the donation except as a member of the decision-making group involved in deciding how to spend the funds.
- The criteria upon which to base the disbursement decision.
- The types of items that are allowable purchases.
- Provision for any changes in scope over time (e.g., increase in scholarship award amounts).
- How to close out the account (e.g., when the account reaches a specific threshold) and what is to be done with any remaining
On an annual basis, the Business Office shall review each Private-Purpose Trust Fund agreement with the school or department engaged in fund management to ensure each school or department maintains the terms of each agreement.
Rejection of Donations
- Any rejected donation of cash, cash equivalents, or tangible personal property valued at less than $1,000 will be documented by the Principal of the school or District department supervisor through a written statement to the prospective donor. The statement must include the amount of the donation, the reason for the rejection, and if applicable any remedy that would allow the school or District department to accept the prospective donation. The statement must be forwarded to the Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operations’ Office for copying and retention.
- If the prospective donation is $1,000 or above, the rejection must be reflected on the appropriate form (either the Donation Agreement Form for Cash and Cash Equivalents (Procedure 6114P – Exhibit A) or the Donation Acknowledgment Form for Tangible Personal Property (Procedure 6114P – Exhibit B)). In addition, the Principal of the school or District department supervisor will attach a written statement to the form. The statement must include the reason for the rejection, and if applicable, any remedy that would allow the school or District department to accept the prospective donation. The form and statement must be forwarded to the Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operations’ Office for copying and retention.
Disposition of Donation Agreement Forms
The Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operations’ Office produces copies of the Donation Agreement Form for Cash and Cash Equivalents (Procedure 6114P – Exhibit A) and the Donation Acknowledgment Form for Tangible Personal Property (Procedure 6114P – Exhibit B) after receipt of all required approvals or denials. Copies are provided to the donor, the Business Office, and the school or district department receiving the donation within thirty (30) business days of final determination. The Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operations’ Office retains the original copy of each form.
Notification of all donations (cash/cash equivalents/tangible personal property) that are $10,000 and greater will be provided to the Board on the Consent Agenda.
Insert the last paragraph of the “Tangible Personal Property (Equipment and Materials)” section, which read, “Notification of all donations (cash/cash equivalents/tangible personal property) that are $10,000 and greater will be provided to the Board on the Consent Agenda.”
Donation Policy Committee Charge Clarification
September 13, 2017: Last fall, the Board formed a Donation Policy Review Committee to increase clarity and articulate expectations regarding donations from outside organizations and community members. The intent was to a provide an opportunity for the District to receive community feedback regarding how donations are received by schools for their athletic and activity programs and what revisions may be necessary to Board Policy 6114 and Administrative Procedure 6114P (Donations) to ensure clarity and make expectations explicit.
A broad-based representative Policy Review Committee made recommendations to the Board in the spring of 2017 and considered the following in their recommendations:
- Alignment of partner organization donations with BSD policies and other relevant laws and operating constraints (e.g., collective bargaining agreements) that govern student athletics and activities.
- Extent of access to partner organizations’ records and finances such that BSD can ensure compliance with laws and policies.
- Alignment of donations to ensure compliance with Title IX and other relevant legislation and policies.
The Board accepted the original committee’s recommendation and formed a second committee to build upon work of the original committee to fulfill the Board’s original mandate. The new committee met in June of 2017 and asked Committee Lead Eva Collins to seek clarification from the Board’s Policy Committee about its charge for them.
Eva met with the Policy Committee in the summer and confirmed that the charge is to use the information compiled by the original committee to answer the questions below. The Policy Committee confirmed that complete responses to these questions should guide the second committee as they draft recommended revisions to Policy 6114 and to Administrative Procedure 6114P.
- What requirements should we place on organizations that donate to/partner with us to support athletics and activities programs?
- Should organizations provide regular financial reports to the BSD or just furnish such reports upon request? What information must be accessible to BSD – e.g., public inspection requirements?
- Should BSD utilize a checklist of organizational requirements with which organizations must comply?
- Should different requirements be placed on different types of organization (e.g., those that support only a particular BSD school, those that support a particular program in one school, those that support a particular program in multiple schools, those organizations that support both BSD students and other schools/students, temporary organizations to support a single event like a field trip, more long-term organizations, etc.)
- For what purposes can we accept in-kind and monetary donations?
- Should organizations be able to provide core items (e.g., uniforms, transportation, and basic equipment) beyond what the school funds? If so, are there particular qualifications that need to be met?
- Should we consider requirements, beyond those in existing policies that should govern funds provided to attend optional trips to camps, competitions, etc.? If so, what particular guidelines should we provide?
- What guidelines should be provided around organizations providing scholarship support? How can we provide clarity around role of District vs. role or organization in assessing need for and distributing funds for scholarship?
- How does volunteer work qualify as in-kind donations? How do requirements to which BSD must adhere affect the acceptance of volunteers?
- Are there other guidelines that would be helpful to provide in policy or in procedures that would help ensure strong positive partnerships with our community who support our activities and athletics?
The Donations Committee met on September 6 and discussed the Board’s charge focuses on athletic and activities donations and the fact that there are donors (Bellevue Schools Foundation and PTSA) that contribute significantly or fund to extra-curricular programs. John Harrison agreed ask for clarification at the next Board Policy Committee meeting. At the September 12, 2017 Board Policy Committee meeting, the committee clarified that although the focus is donations for athletics and activities, the recommendations the Donations Committee eventually makes will likely be applicable to donations for other purposes. The Board Policy Committee also clarified that they would consider recommendations from the Donations Committee that are not specific to athletics and activities.