School Baord will study all fundraising done in association with school activities

LACONIA — The School Board last night unanimously adopted a slightly revised policy on fund-raising activity with the caveat that the Policy Committee and the administration will conduct a review of all club money raising activities and accounts beginning in February.

In an Policy Committee meeting held an hour before the full board meeting, members said they would like to know more about who is raising money in the name of the schools and who is keeping track of the money once raised.

All Policy Committee members agreed that the pool of available money — both from the school budget and from private donors for extra-curricular activities has dwindled while the number of clubs and organizations seeking money has grown.

"It would be nice to know how many are asking for donations as opposed to selling stuff," said member Beth Arsenault.

Specifically, the new policy replaces one that expressly forbade the use of raffles and other games of chance. The old policy has been in place since 1972 and members of the current School Board and administration have no idea why raffles had been prohibited.

A need for a review of fund-raising activity within the district came to light last summer when members of the Capital Campaign Committee promised Laconia Youth Football the concession stand revenue at home football games in exchange for a donation to the campaign.

The objections arose when members of the Kiwanis Club — the adult sponsors of the LHS Key Club — cried foul when they learned they would no longer be staffing the Friday night concession stand as they had for many, many years. It was, contended members of the Kiwanis Club, the students' biggest source of income.

The policy said then and continues to say now that the building principal must approve any fund-raising activity.

While concession stand issue has been settled, some members of the board, led by at-large member Mike Perssons, questioned how much fund-raising activity there is in the schools and whether or not there is real need for it.

His primary concern, one that was echoed by other members, is how much is being raised for each activity, who is keeping track of the money, and what happens to it should the fundraiser exceed its goal or fall short of its goal.