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Series 704AR - Appropriate Expenditures

Adopted: June 1993
Revised: May 2012

1. Application – This regulation applies to all expenditures of district funds by schools, departments, individuals or other groups considered part of the school district.

2. Definitions

2.1  “District funds” include all monies available for spending on school, department, district or related expenses, regardless of the source of the funds (taxes, state payments, grants, gifts, fundraising, donations, vending machine receipts, fees, etc.), that are under the authority of the school district, use the district’s tax exempt number and are subject to audit by the school district.

2.2  The “district” includes all schools, departments, committees and other district-established or required entities that share the responsibility for carrying out the mission of the district, including school site councils.

2.3  “Non-district funds” includes all monies not referred to in section 2.1 above – monies that are raised and spent by non-school, non-district organizations (including booster clubs and booster organizations, PTAs, PTOs, etc.) that have accounts totally separate from the school district, do not use the district’s tax exempt number and are not subject to audit by the school district.

2.4  “Student activities funds” are funds raised by students for students. For guidelines on use of those funds, refer to Administrative Regulation 701.8AR, Student Activity Funds.

3. Appropriate Expenditures – District funds are public funds and, in accordance with state and federal law, must be spent for a public purpose in a way that benefits the public and is directly related to the school district’s mission to educate students. Examples of appropriate expenditures of district funds include, but are not limited to:

3.1  Staff, supplies, furniture and equipment for instructional, classroom and office use;

3.2  Cocurricular staff, supplies and equipment;

3.3  Technology/audio-visual staff, supplies and equipment;

3.4  Reference materials;

3.5  Remodeling, repairing or maintaining district buildings, grounds and equipment;

3.6  Professional services such as auditors, lawyers, architects, engineers, interpreters, etc.;

3.7  Contracted services such as election judges, snow plowing, garbage removal, electricians, mechanics, etc.;

3.8 Costs incurred to hold meetings related to district issues, including facility rental, speakers and materials;

3.9 Employees participating in approved out-of-district workshops, conferences and seminars (including registration fees, transportation, lodging, meals and materials, within the guidelines in Administrative Regulation 405.8AR, Travel and Related Expenses);

3.10 Meals for employees and/or School Board members at district-sponsored or school-sponsored workshops or meetings which run over a meal hour when there is no opportunity for the participants to leave the activity to purchase their own meal;

3.11 Reimbursement of employees’ expenses incurred while performing their duties, such as parking fees, work-related telephone calls, travel and meals at meetings with non-district employees when it is necessary to meet over a meal hour;

3.12 Purchases of staff, services, supplies and equipment to provide student food services (through the Food and Nutrition Services Department) and transportation services (through the Transportation Department);

3.13 Costs of supplies, materials and other expenses related to school fundraising activities,

3.14 Grant monies may be expended for the purposes authorized in the grant, and

3.15 Recognition programs for employees, including teachers (not to include monetary awards).

4.   Inappropriate Expenditures - District funds may not be expended in ways that do not serve a public purpose related to district functions. Examples of inappropriate expenditures of district funds include, but are not limited to:

4.1 Gifts, flowers, meals, mileage or similar items for non-school functions, including for employees, students, members of a student’s family, volunteers or other people’s personal events such as birthdays, secretary’s day, boss’s day, appreciation activities, funerals, illness and retirement parties, contributions to sunshine funds, social activities, etc.;

4.2 Meals, food or refreshments (unless specifically defined in section 3 above) for employees at meetings or for any other reason except when an employee meeting must be held over a meal hour;

4.3 Meals, food or refreshments (unless specifically defined in section 3 above) for parents, community members and other visitors at meetings and other events, e.g., open houses, curriculum nights, parent/teacher conferences, etc.

4.4 Alcoholic beverages, tobacco, lottery tickets and gift cards/gift certificates;

4.5 Donations or contributions to students, employees, families or other organizations;

4.6 Entertainment or recreation costs incurred by an employee while attending a conference, seminar, workshop, team-building activity or other staff development event or while participating in a social activity with other employees;

4.7 Meals, food or refreshments for students, as incentives or rewards, except when considered to be an integral part of the course and curriculum and/or part of the individual student’s educational plan (see section 3.1 above);

4.8 Marketing activities that include giving away token gifts with school or district logos;

4.9 Decorations (such as plants, pictures, etc.) for an individual employee’s work space (as opposed to decorations that enhance the work area as a whole);

4.10 Costs of persons who are not district employees accompanying a district employee to a seminar, workshop, conference, team-building activity or other staff development event;

4.11 Personal long-distance telephone calls and long-distance faxes;

4.12 Meals for third parties, such as consultants; independent contractors; community organizations; or officials or representatives from other school districts, municipalities and other government agencies, and

4.13 Minnesota sales tax on purchases.

References:

  • Minnesota Statute 123B.02, subd. 14a., General powers of independent school districts
  • Minnesota Statute 123B.36, Authorized fees
  • Minnesota Statute 123B.37, Prohibited Fees
  • Minnesota Statute 123B.76, Expenditures; Reporting

Regulations/704AR/5-1-12