Raising kids who raise money

Mauro said the not-for-profit requirement has limited who can come and ask the school district for money.

"The main thing to realize is that this policy restricts anyone going into the classroom and asking for charitable donations," said Mauro. "That's the main thrust of the Regents rule that we want people to understand. We put into the policy that it has to be a not-for-profit so that it wouldn't just be a group of people. Say I wanted to hand out coats in a park where there are people who are needy, I wouldn't be able to say, 'I want to put my box here so that I can go out as a private citizen and just do what I want with it.'"

In the Bethlehem Central School District, the fundraising policies are similar: fundraising can only be done for not-for-profit organizations; it cannot occur during classroom instruction; and the project has to be approved by the building's principal.

"The fact of the matter is the guidelines for the district pertain mainly to the financial aspect," said Superintendent Michael Tebbano.

He said the district's main concern is how the money is handled, what happens to it and where it goes after it is raised.

"[If] the group wanted to raise money, we have to have policy to make sure the money is positive and taken account of for whatever activity the fundraising was occurring," said Tebbano.

He said that a new concern about school fundraisers is based on the goods that are being sold at those benefits, such as pizza, candy and ice cream, because the school is trying to take a wellness approach.

Tebbano said that he has noticed the amount of fundraising has dropped off in recent months. At the same time, other school district officials said they have noticed an increase in the number of people and organizations who are asking for money.

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