School board studies policy on fundraising

Albany County School District No. 1’s school board is giving greater scrutiny to the glut of fundraisers various school groups are running.

While the district’s elementary schools and middle schools each just have a handful of fundraisers planned for the school year, 43 different groups at Laramie High School are planning fundraisers for the 2018-2019 academic year. Almost all of those 43 groups have multiple fundraisers planned.

At the annual school board retreat — held this year at Vedauwoo’s Vista de la Luna Bed and Breakfast — board members expressed concern about why it’s necessary for groups to need to do so much fundraising, which they said can be burdensome on families and businesses.

“I get asked by businesses why they’re being approached by the swimmers and the cheerleaders over and over and over again,” board member Karen Bienz said. “If you know someone in just half these things and they ask you to buy something, that’s pretty overwhelming.”

ACSD No. 1 Business Manager Ed Goetz noted that extra funding might be necessary because “there’s a lot of things the groups do that’s not in the funding model.”

Board member Dona Coffey said the district should be requiring groups to develop budgets and provide more transparency about how funding is spent.

“That was our promise to our community, and we’re not upholding it,” she said. “Since we can’t answer the question of what the money’s being spent on, that makes me uncomfortable.”

School board policies require booster clubs to sign a memorandum of understanding with the district concerning the club’s responsibilities.

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