Lawrence school board to consider first fundraising policy

Lawrence Public Schools district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.

The Lawrence school board will receive a report Monday recommending the school district’s first-ever fundraising policy.

It is one of four reports the board will receive at the meeting, starting at 6 p.m. at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. The other reports include an update on construction projects, an overview of human resource recruiting and summary of 2017 district graduation rates.

For the first time, the district is making reports available in advance of the meeting. They can be viewed at

The board will review the drafted fundraising policy, with the Board Policy Committee’s recommendation that it consider adopting the policy at its Jan. 8 meeting. The committee includes board president Shannon Kimball and board member Vanessa Sanburn.

The policy would require principals or the district superintendent to preapprove all internal and external groups’ fundraising efforts, in writing, as well as faculty members’ supervision of activities. The policy states fundraising is permitted for all schools or the district for student clubs, teams or individuals classes.

The policy requires all funds raised to be placed in an account a school or the district controls, and it would prevent principals from using the funds for purposes other than those defined by the donors without their authorization. It would make the district ultimately responsible for the expenditure and allocation of all money that in-school or external groups, such as the PTA, raise. All allocations would be subject to the district’s procurement policies.

The recommended policy states all student or faculty participation in fundraising efforts is to be voluntary, and participation would not affect a student’s grade or be a condition of belonging to a team, club or group.

The policy would require all online fundraising, including crowdsourcing, to be done on district-approved websites. Elementary and middle school students would be forbidden from door-to-door fundraising, and suitable safeguards would have to be in place before high school door-to-door fundraising efforts would be approved.

The graduation rate report shows a slight dip in the percentage of those students who graduated from Lawrence high schools from 2013 (90.9 percent) to 2017 (87.6 percent). The report shows Native American students slipped to an 80 percent four-year graduation rate in 2017, but overall does not reflect a marked disparity among students of color.

In 2017, Hispanic (89 percent) and Asian (97 percent) students graduated in four years at a greater rate than their white peers (88.7 percent). The study indicates the 2017 graduation rate for students with disabilities was 75.5 percent. The rate for students receiving free and reduced-price lunches was 76.6 percent.