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803.4-R - Administrative Regulations Regarding Public Purpose and Use of Public Funds

The following is a list of examples organized by activity for what is allowable, or not allowable, as a purchase/reimbursement using public funds. This regulation is intended as guidance and there may be situations that are not listed here. Any questions regarding the appropriateness of an expenditure should be submitted prior to expending funds.

  • Use of Credit/Procurement Card: All purchases through a district-owned credit or procurement card shall be pre-approved and comply with district policies 803.3 and 803.3-R.
  • Mileage: Individuals who are required to travel (other than to and from work) as part of fulfilling their job duties to the district shall be reimbursed for mileage costs in accordance with the requirements stated in policies 803.10 and 803.10-R regarding travel allowances.
  • Travel Accommodations: Employees who are required to travel and stay overnight as part of fulfilling their job duties to the district shall be reimbursed for costs in accordance with the requirements stated in policies 803.10 and 803.10-R regarding travel allowances.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is a personal expense and is never allowable for purchase or reimbursement using public funds.
  • Retirement and Recognition Gifts: Recognizing an employee or volunteer’s years of dedication to educating the community and commitment to the district serves a public purpose by honoring individuals with a token gift or honorarium in recognition of their service. The same is true for individual awards, mementos, or items purchased in recognition of employee service to the district. These purchases may use public funds provided the expenditures are modest and approved by the superintendent.
  • Honoraria: District employees may, at times, receive an honorarium from an outside source as compensation for the employee’s time devoted to preparing and delivering a presentation within the scope of their professional field. Honorariums may only be accepted by employees when they have used their personal time outside of their work for the district to prepare and deliver the presentation. If the employee uses district time or resources to prepare or deliver a presentation, any honorarium shall be given to the district.
  • Memorial Gifts: Memorial flowers to convey sympathy or congratulations are allowable as a public expense if they have been approved by the superintendent. Memorial cards are always appropriate. Memorial gifts of any sort other than flowers and/or a card are a personal expense.
  • Breakroom Supplies: The purchase of perishable or disposable supplies for employee breakrooms is primarily designed for individual consumption and is a personal expense. This includes items such as coffee, coffee filters, plates, cups, spoons, napkins, etc.
  • Supplies for Public Areas: Limited refreshments, such as water and coffee, may be available in public reception areas of the district including, but not limited to, the central office, the building administrator’s office, etc. These refreshments may be purchased with the use of public funds as they provide light refreshment to members of the community.
  • Food/Refreshments: Food and refreshments are typically a personal expense. Meetings spanning mealtimes should be avoided when possible. When a district meeting is required to take place spanning a customary mealtime, the superintendent [or designee] shall determine whether food and/or refreshments will be provided to employees whose presence is required during the meeting. The cost of food and refreshments for employees shall be reasonable and, when possible, a separate itemized receipt for each employee is required. If an itemized receipt is not available, approval is required by the school business official prior to reimbursement

The superintendent [or designee] may approve payment from the general fund in a reasonable amount for the following expenditures:

  1. Expenditures for food items and refreshments for district staff for meetings held before normal start times, during the lunch hour, after normal work times, and anytime during the day when food and refreshments are served.
  2. Expenditures for food items and refreshments for district staff meetings with outside organizations and associations.
  3. Expenditures for food items and refreshments for board members and staff during board meetings or work sessions.
  4. Expenditures for food items and refreshments for board committees or superintendent committees during meetings.
  5. Expenditures for food items, refreshments, and recognition items for recognizing the services of employees, retirees, or volunteers.
  6. Expenditures for food items, refreshments, and recognition/retention items given to staff for recognizing and promoting wellness program participation and initiatives.
  7. Expenditures for food items, refreshments, and/or tokens supplied for service-related or recognition activities.

The superintendent [or designee] may also approve public money to be used for:

  1. Volunteer service recognition items, not to exceed $25 per volunteer.
  2. Meals (food and drink) for student participants, coaches, and staff including end of season banquets. This pertains to meals at a Linn-Mar facility or offsite.
  3. Recognition items paid for from student activity funds, not to exceed $50 per student participant for trophies, plaques, awards, and other non-cash items.
  4. Token items supplied to students for service-related or recognition activities paid for from the general fund not to exceed $10 per student for similar items such as t-shirts, water bottles, awards, and other non-cash items. Items purchased for student Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) incentives are allowable if the cost does not exceed $10 per student.
  5. Purposes clearly specified in approved fundraising activities and shared with patrons in fundraising materials.
  6. One apparel item for coaches and sponsors to be worn for team competitions and/or performances not to exceed $50 per season per coach. Such apparel must be clearly specified on fundraising forms and shared with patrons in fundraising materials. Apparel must adhere to district licensing agreements for registered marks and logos.

Public money may not be used for:

  1. All other apparel for coaches, sponsors, employees, and other individuals not listed above;
  2. Personalized apparel;
  3. Personal apparel: underwear, bras, socks, shoes, etc.;
  4. Gifts for coaches, sponsors, or their family members;
  5. Meals (food or drink) for family members of the coaches, sponsors, and/or the student participants;
  6. Individual camp or clinic fees for students;
  7. Gift cards/cash incentives given to students, employees, or other individuals; and
  8. Gifts, decorations, meals, or other costs for staff birthdays, holiday parties, or other occasions that are personal in nature.

Adopted: 1/13
Reviewed: 5/15; 12/18
Revised: 12/13; 1/22
Related Policy: 801.7; 801.7-R; 803.3; 803.3-R; 803.4; 803.10; 803.10-R
IASB Reference: 705.4; 705.4R1