TITLE 17. EDUCATION
CHAPTER 2. TEACHERS AND EMPLOYEES
PART I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
17:414.3 School fund; management, expenditure, and accounting; duties of school principal; accounts for certain closed schools; committees; creation and authority; policies
A. The principal of every public elementary and secondary school shall maintain a school fund as provided for in this Section for the management of any money which accrues to benefit his school. The money provided by the state or the city or parish school system for support of the regular instructional program or the school facility shall not be included in the school fund provided for in this Section; such money shall be managed as directed by the agency from which it is received.
B. (1) The monies in the school fund shall be deposited in a single bank account, preferably interest-bearing, on which checks may be drawn. The bank shall be selected in the manner required by the policy or direction of the school board or, if there is no policy or direction, at the discretion of the principal.
(2) Separate records or ledgers shall be maintained by the principal, or his designee from among the school staff, for each of the following sources of deposits into the school fund account:
(a) Each club, organization, association, class, athletic team, or other organizational unit within the school, the existence of which complies with school and school board policy; the membership of which is either students, faculty, or employees of the school; and which generates money by collecting dues, conducting fundraisers, charging admission, or some other money generating activity for a purpose which the entity intends to control.
(b) Each donation made to the school by an entity outside the school, whether it be a parents club, community, business, or civic organization, or other donor, when such donation is made for a specific or restricted use or purpose.
(c) All donations made by any entity referred to in Subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this Paragraph as well as all monies raised by the school population generally which are unrestricted and which are intended for discretionary use to benefit the school, its students, faculty, employees, programs, or facilities.
(d) All monies raised in a schoolwide effort for a specific use or purpose.
(e) Any other money source, temporary or permanent, which is identifiable, approved by the principal, and has a need to maintain a record or ledger.
(3)(a) No money shall be drawn on the school fund account without a request therefor; no withdrawal shall occur unless the check carries the signature of the principal, or the administrator who assumes his duties during his absence.
(b) No monies shall be drawn on the school fund account unless the request for withdrawal of funds carries two signatures, one of which shall always be the principal's.
(c) The other signature shall be:
(i) In the case of a request for withdrawal by an entity which has deposited pursuant to the status described in R.S. 17:414.3(B)(2)(a) and (e), an officer, member, or sponsor of the entity, designated by the entity.
(ii) In the case of a request for withdrawal for the pursuit of a restricted use or purpose as described in R.S. 17:414.3(B)(2)(b), another school administrator, faculty member, or employee who is approved by the donor and is familiar with the purpose of the donation.
(iii) In the case of a request for withdrawal of money deposited pursuant to R.S. 17:414.3(B)(2)(c) or (d), any other school administrator, faculty member, or employee.
(d) Withdrawals may be made for estimated amounts of anticipated need, but in such cases shall be accounted for with receipts, which accounting shall be reflected in the school fund records and which receipts shall be retained with the record until the report provided for in R.S. 17:414.3(C) is approved by the superintendent.
(e)(i) Money deposited in the school fund pursuant to R.S. 17:414.3(B)(2)(a), (b), (d), and (e) shall be used according to the purpose for which it was generated or for the purposes selected by the depositing entities, provided such expenditures are approved by the principal as indicated by his signature on checks for withdrawals.
(ii) Money deposited in the school fund pursuant to R.S. 17:414.3(B)(2)(c) may be expended at the discretion of the principal provided such expenditures are for the benefit of all or any of the school's students, faculty, staff, facility, or program and provided the ledger reflects the expenditure.
(4) Deposits in the school fund account shall be made by the principal, or his designee from among the school staff.
(5) Every deposit or withdrawal from the school fund account shall be entered in the separately maintained record as provided in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection.
(6) The records of the school fund shall be reconciled monthly with the school fund account statement of the bank regarding activity in the school fund account. Bank statements shall be signed by the principal, once reconciled with the records, and retained with the school fund record. The school fund records shall be reviewed annually by the principal and one other member of his administrative staff. Such review shall be reflected in the record by the signature of both reviewers.
(7)(a) Any amount of money in the school fund account in excess of that needed to permit the access described in this Section may be invested by the principal in accordance with R.S. 33:2955. However, balances in the school fund account shall include all monies deposited pursuant to R.S. 17:414.3(2)(a), (b), and (e) unless the depositing entity approves the investment of any portion of its deposits as provided in this Paragraph, which approval shall be in writing and maintained with the school fund record.
(b) Any investments made pursuant to this Paragraph shall be recorded in the records of the school fund, shall be reported as required in Subsection C of this Section, and shall be accounted for in any review or reconciliation of the school fund.
(c) Earnings on any investment made pursuant to this Paragraph shall be considered the same as, and may be expended as, provided in R.S. 17:413.2(B)(3)(e)(ii).
C. Each school principal shall report on his school's fund annually to the superintendent or a member of his staff designated by him, at a regular time designated by the superintendent. The report shall be sufficiently detailed to notify the superintendent of account balances, significant deposits, significant expenditures, and any unresolved errors or discrepancies. The superintendent shall approve such reports in writing to the school within two months of receiving the report or shall notify the principal of any further information needed or examination required. The superintendent shall be responsible for notifying the school board of the apparent need for further examination, supervision, or intervention. The school board may require and provide for an audit of the school fund of any school within its jurisdiction at any time.
D. No agency of state government, or any of its branches, shall supervise, regulate, or audit the school funds provided for in this Section, except upon request of a city or parish school board.
E. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to permit an expenditure that is otherwise prohibited by law.
F. (1) Notwithstanding any provision of this Section to the contrary, any monies deposited in a school fund account pursuant to Subsections A through E of this Section and that cannot be accessed and expended in accordance with the procedures and for the purposes as specified in such Subsections due to the school's closure for reasons of natural catastrophe or disaster as certified by the state superintendent of education shall be placed under the control of the city, parish, or other local public school board having jurisdiction over the school prior to its closure, and such funds shall be accessible for investment, withdrawal, and expenditure in accordance with the provisions of this Subsection. The school fund account of any school transferred to the jurisdiction of the Recovery School District within five months after a natural catastrophe or disaster as certified by the state superintendent of education shall be placed under the control of the superintendent of the Recovery School District or other Recovery School District employee holding the equivalent position.
(2)(a) Each city, parish, and other local public school board or the superintendent of the Recovery School District or other Recovery School District employee holding the equivalent position having control of one or more school fund accounts pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection shall create a committee composed of five members as follows:
(i) The superintendent of the school system or the Recovery School District superintendent or other Recovery School District employee holding the equivalent position, as applicable.
(ii) The chief financial officer of the school system or other school system employee holding the equivalent position or the chief financial officer of the Recovery School District or other Recovery School District employee holding the equivalent position, as applicable.
(iii) A member of the local community appointed by the school board or the Recovery School District superintendent or other Recovery School District employee holding the equivalent position, as applicable.
(iv) A member of the city, parish, or other local school board appointed by the president thereof, or the president of the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education or his designee from among the members of that board.
(v) The state superintendent of education or his designee from among the employees of the Department of Education.
(b) The appointed members of the committee shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority, and a vacancy in the appointed position shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
(c) The committee shall elect a chairman and such other officers as it deems necessary. An official action of the committee shall require the favorable vote of at least three members.
(d) The committee shall meet on call of the chairman and may meet at such other times as determined by the committee by formal action. The initial meeting of the committee shall be called by the superintendent of the school system or the superintendent of the Recovery School District or other Recovery School District employee holding the equivalent position, as applicable.
(e) All meetings and other activities of the committee shall be subject to applicable provisions of the Open Meetings Law (R.S. 42:4.1 et seq.) and the Public Records Law (R.S. 44:1 et seq.).
(f)(i) The committee shall have the authority to invest, withdraw, and expend the monies in the closed school's school fund account with first priority given to meeting the financial obligations incurred in connection with such account prior to the school's closure, if applicable. The committee shall designate two of its members to have signatory authority over the school fund account.
(ii) Committee members with designated signatory authority over the school fund account shall fulfill all requirements prescribed by the federally insured financial institution where the account is established with respect to drawing funds from the account within thirty days of such designation.
(iii) No money shall be drawn on the school fund account without a request therefor approved by the committee, and no withdrawal shall occur unless the check carries the signature of both committee members with designated signatory authority.
(g) All existing financial obligations shall be met as soon as possible after a school's closing.
(h) Any monies remaining in the account after such financial obligations have been met shall be retained by the committee for a period of four years from the date of the school's closure. Schools that reopen prior to such four-year period shall be given control over the school's school fund account immediately upon reopening. The funds in any school fund account of a school that does not reopen within four years after being closed may be expended by the committee for purposes which directly benefit students, but shall not be used for any recurring purposes. If multiple schools in a school system are closed, the school fund accounts for such schools shall be managed as a single account after the four-year period has ended. Any expenditure of funds from a school fund account in excess of the fund's outstanding obligations shall be used for purposes which directly benefit students, but shall not be used for any recurring purposes. The committee shall offer to return to the donor any restricted donations made pursuant to the provisions of Subsection B of this Section prior to the use of such donated funds by the committee for any purpose contrary to the restrictions on such donation.
(i) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, actions for the recovery of obligations payable from the school fund account of a school closed pursuant to this Subsection are subject to a liberative prescription of two years commencing on the date the payment is exigible. The continuity of services by the obligee shall not prevent prescription of any obligation due to that portion of such services already rendered on the date the school closed. The provisions of this Subparagraph shall apply to all obligations and accounts receivable in existence at the time of the school closing.
(j) The committee shall have the authority to invest the funds in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph (B)(7) of this Section.
(3) Each city, parish, and other local public school board and the administering agency of the Recovery School District having control of one or more school fund accounts pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection shall adopt policies necessary to implement the provisions of this Subsection. Such policies shall include but shall not be limited to procedures consistent with the provisions of this Subsection for the investment, withdrawal, expenditure, and proper accounting of the monies in the school fund account, and the minimum evidence necessary to establish an obligation.
(4) The provisions of this Subsection are subject to the provisions of R.S. 6:317 and shall not conflict with or alter the contractual provisions of any agreement entered into with any federally insured financial institution holding school funds pursuant to a deposit agreement, time certificate of deposit, investment contract, or any similar agreement.
(5) The provisions of this Subsection shall be retroactive to August 29, 2005.
Added by Acts 1990, No. 1066, § 1, eff. July 27, 1990. Amended by Acts 2007, No. 341, § 1, eff. July 9, 2007.