$20K stolen from school

Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby jasond_71 » Jan 9th, 2019, 8:41 pm

The school secretary manages the account just like many accounts at the school. They would have no influence on the decision of where the money is spent. It is simply a check on where the money is going.
It would be very difficult for the school secretary to steal the money if PAC members had to sign the check as well.

Although PAC's make the final decision they often ask teachers and administrators where the most need is. As you said PAC often has difficulty obtaining volunteers and change often so they need teacher and admin support on where the needs are in the school.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby giggly1 » Jan 10th, 2019, 5:11 pm

I was a parent volunteer in SD #23 for many years and also volunteered at the provincial level with BCCPAC (British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils).

This is an excerpt taken directly from the Gaming website and this has been in effect for many years:
"Funds must be used to benefit students by enhancing extracurricular opportunities. Grant funds must remain under the management and control of the PAC or DPAC that receives them."

A few have asked how it is possible for PACs to have this much money...It is really quite simple although it can be a huge amount of work on the part of the PAC members where fundraising is involved.

It is important to note that PACs generally have a minimum of two bank accounts: one General and one Gaming.

PACs may apply each year for a Gaming Grant that provides an average of $20 per student each year and is based on the previous year's enrollment. So, for example, if a school had 300 students, the PAC would receive a total of $6,000.00 to be put into their Gaming account. For larger schools, the amount would be higher. Added to this account would be any funds garnered from those activities requiring a gaming license such as raffle ticket sales, etc. There are also strict guidelines associated with the spending of Gaming funds and PACs must report yearly.

The General account would consist of funds obtained through fundraising activities that don't require a gaming license such as bake sales, hot dog sales, hot lunch sales, a school carnival, and so on and so forth. These funds are generally used by the PAC for items that Gaming funds can't be used for or, in some cases, in addition to Gaming funds.

Regardless of the account, it should be the PAC who determines where the money is spent although PACs generally do discuss funding possibilities with school staff/administration.

PACs may also obtain additional funding where they are/were eligible for other grants and/or may also be a registered society.

PAC members have engaged in 'fundraising activities' for many years in the hopes of enriching the experiences of all children while they attend that particular school and this likely will never change...

In my years of volunteer work and after receiving several calls with respect to the 'stealing' of PAC funds, I often preached that PACs needed to ensure that protocol/guidelines were in place with respect to PAC finances that left very little opportunity for individuals to 'steal' any money from PAC accounts. This included having online viewing access to all PAC Accounts and reviewing these on a weekly basis. I also used to advise PACs to make PAC members aware of any possible consequences of any such actions and I even had a lawyer attend one of the PAC meetings to explain the possible legal ramifications...I also encouraged PAC members not to discuss such items when/where children were present so as to help protect the child/children's identity(ies)...Special care/consideration must be given to ensure the confidentiality of any/all students at all times.

I truly feel for the schools/students affected and I sincerely hope that those individuals responsible are held accountable and punished to the fullest extent of the law...

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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby JayByrd » Jan 10th, 2019, 9:32 pm

I think it's pretty clear that not every PAC is managed as well as it ought to be. It's not my place to say how many are or aren't, but it's not a stretch to imagine that some PACs are run by individuals who mean well, but don't know enough to follow sound practices. Those PACs are vulnerable to situations such as theft.
My fervent hope is that you and your tax dollars will be reunited in the afterlife.

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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby one wheel » Jan 11th, 2019, 12:46 am

Thanks -giggly1 - for explaining how the PAC accounts can become so large, I had no idea it worked that way.

I actually thought it was a Federal & Provincial Governments requirement to insure our schools were properly funded & that school taxes were supposed cover this ?

IMO our Governments have taken Canada's most valuable assets, our children & shortchanged & underfunded the education system & then tell us how we are falling behind other countries & need to do better ?

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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby Big Green Machine » Jan 11th, 2019, 7:29 pm

Facts:

PAC bank accounts are separate from school and district bank accounts.
Schools do not have any authority or control over PAC accounts.
School employees who are also parents are not in PAC executive roles.
School Secretaries have no control over PAC expenditures or accounting.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby Big Green Machine » Jan 11th, 2019, 7:32 pm

jasond_71 wrote:The school secretary manages the account just like many accounts at the school.


Sorry, not true.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby Fancy » Jan 12th, 2019, 7:54 am

one wheel wrote:I thought it required 3 signatures in order to access money to pay bills ?


This is what I've found so far:

Signing authority
4. The executive will name at least three signing officers for banking and legal documents.
Two signatures will be required on all of these documents.


https://bccpac.bc.ca/upload/2016/05/lm- ... bylaws.pdf

Big Green Machine wrote:
jasond_71 wrote:The school secretary manages the account just like many accounts at the school.


Sorry, not true.


I haven't run across anything to support this.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby giggly1 » Jan 12th, 2019, 10:44 am

The statement regarding signing authority that was included in a post above is part of BCCPACs sample bylaws that are on their website. However, it is important to note that PACS are neither required nor obliged to follow this rule or any other item noted in the sample bylaws - These are only suggestions. PACS are required to create/manage their own bylaws under the School Act.

I am not sure about now, but years ago there were several 'secretaries' that had signing authority on PAC accounts. Several discussions ensued with other school district staff and they were removed as signing authorities on PAC accounts but still participated as PAC members.

I cannot say whether or not any school secretary is managing PAC accounts or has signing authority on these accounts at this time, but if they do, discussion needs to be happening to change this...Gaming would especially have an issue with any school staff having signing authority on a PAC Gaming account and the PAC could lose their Gaming funding as a result...
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby amomof2dogs » Jan 16th, 2019, 12:02 pm

I think, therefore we are different.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby jasond_71 » Jan 16th, 2019, 1:58 pm

Big Machine? I'm sorry but that's how it works at our school. We are lucky if we have 2 parents volunteer for our PAC at a school of 700 kids. The PAC lets the Principal know how much money was received from gaming Grants(we have no fundraising at our school except for specific things like sports teams or Grad).
The department heads put in requests for things that would help the school like new sports uniforms, tablets, reading materials, mats for wrestling class, lights for the drama department, field trip busing etc. etc.
The department heads then sit together with the Principal and decide what is the most important.

This is then taken to the PAC. Usually the PAC approves most of the items but once in a while they say no to something but generally most items are approved. The teachers fill out purchase orders for the items which go to the school secretary to put through and then the PAC signs the cheques. I don't see a way for the PAC to embezzle money with this system and the PAC gets the final say on all purchases. I don't see how the government could refuse funding under this system especially since it prevents fraud.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby spooker » Jan 17th, 2019, 9:54 am

The PAC is a more direct way that parents can take an active role in their child's education ... since mine is so young it also let's me see what to expect as she continues through the grades ...

Sure, they're are the exceptions to the rule of "good parent" but that's what they are ... exceptions ... as a whole the PAC is a benefit to the school and the kids and I wish more parent participated ... having more eyes on everything would also help make sure the "exceptions" don't get into positions to exercise their bad thoughts ...
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby Big Green Machine » Jan 17th, 2019, 7:59 pm

jasond_71 wrote:Big Machine? I'm sorry but that's how it works at our school. We are lucky if we have 2 parents volunteer for our PAC at a school of 700 kids. The PAC lets the Principal know how much money was received from gaming Grants(we have no fundraising at our school except for specific things like sports teams or Grad).
The department heads put in requests for things that would help the school like new sports uniforms, tablets, reading materials, mats for wrestling class, lights for the drama department, field trip busing etc. etc.
The department heads then sit together with the Principal and decide what is the most important.

This is then taken to the PAC. Usually the PAC approves most of the items but once in a while they say no to something but generally most items are approved. The teachers fill out purchase orders for the items which go to the school secretary to put through and then the PAC signs the cheques. I don't see a way for the PAC to embezzle money with this system and the PAC gets the final say on all purchases. I don't see how the government could refuse funding under this system especially since it prevents fraud.


The PAC controls the bank account transactions. You are referring to the discussions that occur before the PAC makes a bank transaction. Schools have no authority over PAC accounting.
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Re: $20K stolen from school

Postby jasond_71 » Jan 22nd, 2019, 8:22 pm

That's how it's done at our school. I don't know how I can be more clear. If you read my last statement I said the PAC signs the cheque.
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