- Prize: something of value conveyed as a result of chance, generally for promotional purposes, to one or more participants in a district-sponsored event.
- Award: Recognition or something of value conveyed as a result of competition, merit or in recognition of service to the district on the part of the recipient.
- De minimis: Minimal value, a small amount, lacking significance or importance, having little or no impact on public funds, so minor as to merit disregard.
Award/ Prize Values
(Fifteen dollars is used as an example. Each district must determine what is de minimis. Insert the school amounts for your district. In setting the total amount, the district should consider but not be limited to, the following factors: total enrollment, number of schools at each level, total district budget and whether the action will have little or no impact on public funds. Depending on the age group, a reasonable student award may be less than $15.00.)
The district will consider any prize or award amount equal to or less than $15.00 (fifteen) dollars to be de minimus. In determining whether an incentive is a de minimis amount, the district will consider whether the amount is insignificant to a recipient for tax purposes and insignificant to the district.
The value of an individual student prize will not exceed $25.00 (twenty-five dollars). Example: A $25.00 (twenty-five dollar) incentive certificate for perfect attendance or most improved grade point average is an acceptable use of public funds; or a district could provide an item valued at $25.00 (twenty-five dollars) such as a school uniform shirt or hat to an individual student. However, incentive awards to several students in one class that have a substantial aggregate value could be excessive and an inappropriate use of public funds.
The district is prohibited from using public funds to provide gifts.
The following are examples of prohibited gifts:
- The district may provide light lunches or refreshments for volunteers during or near the time the services are provided. The district cannot provide a separate event at district expense;
- The district cannot pay the cost for staff to attend an optional training program. If training is required the district may pay with district funds;
- Flowers purchased for celebrations or to express sympathy; and
- Food, clothing or other items purchase for someone in need.
Associated Student Body Fundraising – Individual Student Incentives
All property and money acquired by the Associated Student Body (ASB), except private non-associated student body funds, are district funds and will be deposited and disbursed from the district’s ASB program fund. The district may use a portion of ASB funds to award individual students efforts for fundraising that is related to ASB activities, but only if the activity is for a legitimate school purpose (academic achievement) and spending is in accordance with the board-approved budget.
Example: ASB students raise money for student body activities. The student who raises the most money receives a pizza certificate incentive from ASB funds in recognition of their efforts. This is an acceptable incentive.
Corporate incentives provided to the district for the benefit of students become district property.
If the incentive is made to an individual student directly from the corporation, the incentive becomes the personal property of the student and is not calculated as an incentive provided by the district. In order to be considered personal property, the incentive at no time may be presented to the district or be in possession of the district.
Any vendor, group or organization that offers student incentives to support the district must communicate with the district, prior to providing the incentive to ensure its efforts are compatible with the district’s educational goals. The district reserves the right to reject any student incentive that would not serve the interests of the district.
Prizes or awards provided to the ASB by outside vendors must also fall within the individual and district limits.
Incentives received will be recorded by the school. This will allow parents and teachers to view incentives provided to students and will also allow each school to analyze the distribution of incentives.
Adopted: April 9, 2012