Gift Giving: What You Need to Know!

Positivity brings reward, and it is important to recognize the special achievements of all those whose accomplishments are noteworthy. In fact, student events and activities are an essential part of the school experience, and serve to motivate and encourage our students.

But what rewards are allowed in a public school setting, and what are not?

California Education Code section 44015 defines the kinds of expenditures that would and would not be considered a gift of public funds, and the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) has clear guidelines on allowable and prohibited gifts.

Your authorizer and auditor will be looking for possible non-compliance of this important rule when evaluating fiscal expenditures at your school, so here are some simple do’s and don’ts.

What about using other private donations for the gifts we give?

As long as the donation agreement specifies exactly what the money can be used for, and lists the gifts being given as an allowed expense, the private donation can be used. If no such clear agreement exists relating to the donated funds, the standard rules above apply, since the donated funds are given to the school for school operation.