There may be school district activities where expenditures for non-employee activities, meals, and refreshments may occur. Expenditures for non-employee activities, meals, and refreshments for school district activities are allowed provided the expenses are in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-5.8. For the purposes of this Policy, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, “activities” means events or functions provided or held for the benefit of pupils, dignitaries, and other “non-district” employees 9e.g. parents) which are paid from public funds. “Dignitary” means a notable or prominent public figure; a high level official; or one who holds a position of honor. A dignitary, for purposes of this Policy, is not a school district employee or Board of Education member.
Allowable expenditures for non-employee school district activities shall include:
1. All reasonable costs, including light meals and refreshments, directly related to activities that benefit pupils and are part of the instructional program including expenditures for field trips and extracurricular programs that are not solely for entertainment. Nothing in this Policy or MJ.A.C. 6A:23A-5.8 shall preclude the district from using student activity funds or accepting donations to support pupil activities that are solely for pupil entertainment;
2. All reasonable costs directly related to activities of dignitaries and other “non-district” employees (e.g. parents), including light meals and refreshments and any other directly related expense. Expenditures for this purpose shall be minimal and infrequent;
3. All reasonable costs of commencement and convocation activities for pupils; and
4. Expenditures related to district employees to the extent such employees are essential to the conduct of the activity.
The Board shall, at a minimum, take actions regarding pupil activities as follows:
1. Pre-approved field trip destinations;
2. Establish dollar thresholds for awards to recognize special accomplishments; and
3. Establish a budget supported by general fund revenues for each category of activity in a non-discriminatory manner. (e.g. football, boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, photography club). Student activity funds are excluded.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:11-12 and State of New Jersey Department of Treasury, Office of Management and Budget Circular 08-19-OMB and 06-14-OMB, the following costs shall not be permitted using public funding:
1. Receptions, dinners, or other social functions held for or honoring any employee or group of employees of the district (e.g breakfast, luncheon, dinner, or reception for retirees or award recipients). This does not prohibit the district from honoring employees without a social function or using public funds to support reasonable costs of employee recognition awards (e.g. teacher of the year awards, years of service awards). Use of public funds for reasonable costs of employee awards is a local discretionary expenditure;
2. Meals or refreshments served to guests at any athletic event or other games or contests; and/or
3. Expenses for alcoholic beverages.
The School Business Administrator/Board Secretary and/or designee shall maintain documentation to support activities, meals, and refreshments at district events. The documentation shall include a description of the activity, the purpose/justification of the activity, expressed in terms of the goal(s) or objective(s) of the district, the make-up of the group participating in the activity, and the names and titles of Board members or employees included in the group.
Adopted: October 2008
Revised: June 2009