Q & A - Fundraising best left to community volunteers

October 19, 2010
Gordon Thomas
Gordon ThomasQuestion: What are my ­responsibilities toward fundraising?

ATA policy states that teachers should not plan and implement school-based fundraising activities and the Department of Education should prohibit schools and school boards from using funds raised through fundraising for curricular purposes. The ATA believes fundraising by teachers to be strictly voluntary. Furthermore, because many fundraising activities are held outside of regular school hours, direct participation at fundraising activities cannot be assigned to teachers. Simply put, ­fundraising for school needs or wants is an activity best left to community volunteers. This advice applies not only to casinos and bingos, but to other forms of fundraising undertaken by school communities. Whenever possible, money collected from such activities should be handled by clerical staff or parent volunteers, so that teachers can focus on what they are paid to do—teach. Should teachers chose to participate in school related fundraising activities, they should familiarize themselves with district policies and procedures related to fundraising and collection of funds, and consult with the school administration prior to initiating such activities with their class.

Questions for consideration in this column are welcome. Please address them to Gordon Thomas at Barnett House (gordon.thomas@ata.ab.ca).