DCS tables discussion for direct supervision of school-affiliated organizations’ funds

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DOTHAN, Ala (WDHN) — The DCS Board of Education tabled a motion to discuss a policy amendment that could potentially result in the board having direct supervision over school-affiliated organizations’ funds.

School officials told News 18 the guidelines come from the state.

“Basically the state provides guidelines for school systems to implement policies that govern the expenditure and the regulation of funds,” explained DCS COO Dr. Dennis Coe.

Reportedly, the state allows one of two options:

1) Organizations can bring funds under the purview of the chief financial officer while being subject to audits and scrutiny of legal expenditure, but can utilize the school system’s tax-exempt status.

2) If the organizations don’t come under the school’s supervision, they must form the 501(c)(3) status, be subjected to an annual audit and provide a fidelity bond for their treasurer.

Officials said both options are meant to protect organizations.

“School officials cannot control or dictate to these entities how they spend their funds,” Coe said.

Although the policy amendment has not been adopted, some organizations are opposing the idea.

“We know where those assets need to go and to have to ask permission from someone else that might not understand the gravity of what we’re doing that day is just not acceptable to us,” said DHS Wolf Pack Band Boosters Inc. President Dedra Garrey.

While the proposed guidelines are reportedly meant to protect organizations from possible misuse of funds, the DHS Band Boosters President said the organization already has preventive measures in place.

“Your recourse is to protect yourself from that,” Garrey said. “We’ve taken those steps. The money is just as safe with us, we’ve taken those steps, as it would be in the CFO’s office.”

The board motioned to table further discussion about this policy amendment for the next 30 days.

WDHN attempted to speak with DCS Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Edwards, but was asked to contact her the next day for an interview.

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