Responsibilities of Booster Club
Booster Clubs exist to promote communication and greater involvement between the school and the community, including parents and other interested citizens, and to support the students of the District. Participation is encouraged with the belief that a better understanding of school operations will foster cooperation and support. (GE LOCAL). These organizations should support, promote and enrich the education and activities of students and their student programs. The purpose of the Booster Club is to work cooperatively with the sponsor/coach to provide assistance for the planned activities of the student group; however, the Booster Club does not have the authority to decide the activities in which the group will participate. The Booster Club may provide suggestions about particular activities; however, the Sponsor is responsible for the final decision with an Administrator’s approval.
While Booster Clubs work cooperatively and closely with the District and its employees, Booster Clubs are a separate business entity from the District; maintaining their own tax ID numbers (Federal EIN and Texas Taxpayer ID) as well as their own bank account. Therefore, Plano Independent School District greatly appreciates the time, effort, and financial support Booster Clubs provide our student programs.
Booster Clubs shall organize and function in a way consistent with the District’s philosophy and objectives, within adopted Board policies, and in accordance with UIL regulations as applicable.
All booster clubs must follow Plano ISD board policy. Please read the board policies in their entirety and reach out to your club sponsor if you have any questions or need clarification.
The following policies include information about which booster club documents need to be submitted annually to your campus principal, and emphasizes Plano ISD's committment to collaborating with parent organizations to support our students. The policies also include district expectations and guidelines for all booster clubs.
According to Plano ISD Board Policy every booster must submit these 5 things to their campus administrator:
- A copy of the organization’s bylaws
- The name, address, and telephone number of the persons authorized to sign any legal papers, documents. Two signatures shall be required on all checks
- The name, address, and telephone number of all current officers
- The name, address, and telephone number of the depository for the organization’s funds
- A schedule and/or calendar from the booster club for fundraising activities including location and a brief description
Individuals should be informed of the seriousness of violating the athletic amateur rule found in Section 441 and the awards rule found in Section 480 of the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules. Check with school administrators before giving anything to a student, school sponsor or coach. The penalty to a student-athlete is forfeiture of varsity athletic eligibility in the sport for which the violation occurred for one calendar year from the date of the violation. If a team violates the amateur rule, the penalty shall be assessed against the team and not against each individual. See Section 441(d), UIL Constitution and Contest Rules. All fans, not just members of the booster club, should be aware of these rules. It affects the entire community.
- Athletic booster club funds shall not be used to support athletic camps, clinics, private instruction or any activity outside of the school.
- The local school district determines when, how and from whom student athletes can receive meals and snacks. See Section 441(b)(9), UIL Constitution and Contest Rules.
- Schools must give prior approval for any banquet or get-together given for students.
- Students may not accept money or other valuable consideration from school booster club funds for any non-school purpose. See Section 441(A)(3), UIL Constitution and Contest Rules.
- Student athletes are prohibited from accepting valuable consideration for participation in school athletics - anything that is not given or offered to the entire student body on the same basis that it is given or offered to an athlete. See Section 441(a), UIL Constitution and
Contest Rules. Valuable consideration is defined as tangible or intangible property or service including anything that is usable, wearable, salable or consumable.
- Booster groups or individuals may donate money or merchandise to the school with prior approval of the administration. These kinds of donations are often made to cover the cost of commercial transportation and to cover costs for meals. It would be a violation for booster groups or individuals to pay for such costs directly, without prior approval from the local school administration. See Section 441(b)(9) and Section 480 (a)(2)(A)(iv).
- Student athletes may accept small “goodie bags” consisting of cookies, candy and symbolic gifts from their classmates, if allowed by local school policy. See Section 441(B)(7), UIL Constitution and Contest Rules.
We encourage academic booster clubs, whether they cover UIL academic competition in general or specific programs such as theatre, speech/debate, journalism or math / science. A great need exists for parental involvement and support.
The rules for athletics are different than the rules for academics and music. Athletes are restricted by the athletic amateur rule, which states that athletes cannot accept money or valuable consideration for participating in a UIL sport or for allowing their names to be used in promoting a product, plan or service related to a UIL contest. Academics has no amateur rule. Journalism participants may work for a newspaper and be paid. Actors may work summer stock and be paid. Students may win calculators and software for participating in invitational math contests.
UIL academic students are restricted by the awards rule. See Section 480, UIL Constitution and Contest Rules. So, as a general practice, booster clubs should not give gifts or awards to students for their participation in UIL contests that count toward district, region or state standing without prior school district approval. School booster clubs may raise money to purchase letter jackets, provided the funds are given to the school without designation to buy jackets for particular students and the school determines criteria for awarding the jackets. Parents may purchase jackets for their own children provided the school designates the student as being qualified to receive the jacket.
Booster Clubs may raise money to provide an annual banquet for academic participants and coaches.
EXAMPLES OF ACADEMIC BOOSTER CLUB CONTRIBUTIONS THAT ARE NOT PROHIBITED BY UIL RULE, WITH LOCAL ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVAL, ARE:
- Purchase equipment for programs such as computers or software for yearbook or computer science.
- Organize and chaperone trips and assist with expenses for travel to academic competitions or educational trips such as journalism conventions or speech tournaments. Booster club funds may be used to provide food and refreshments for students on these trips. A purely recreational trip would not meet the definition of an educational field trip and could be considered a violation of the Awards Rule. See Section 480(2)(d), UIL Cons/tu/on and Contest Rules.
- Run tournaments, organize fund-raising efforts, recruit corporate donors, raise money for scholarships and arrange for tutors and professional trainers to work with students.
- Fund academic workshop scholarships provided selection of the recipients is not based solely on their success in interscholastic competition. Selection could be based on grade point average or the student’s selection of high school courses. All students
meeting the conditions for scholarship assistance should be notified and eligible for financial assistance. Funds should be monitored to ensure that they are expended for camp or workshop purposes.
Fine Arts Boosters
In addition to the general procedures outlined, the following guidelines apply to Music Booster Club activities.
- Be mindful of the fact that there is no Music Amateur Rule. Therefore, limitations established in athletics intended to ensure compliance with the Athletic Amateur Rule do not apply to music programs and related activities.
- Some music booster clubs assist with expenses for travel to various music-related activities such as UIL contests and performances at away athletic events. Such financial support violates no UIL rules provided that it is approved and coordinated by the local school district.
- Many music groups schedule educational field trips with the approval of the local school administration and under local school district policies. For such trips, specific educational components must be included such as performing for a music festival, an adjudicated contest or a concert tour. Marching performances such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Rose Bowl Parade or other similar ceremonial appearances also qualify. However, educational components need not be limited to performances. Concert attendance, visiting university/conservatory music facilities and other music related, non-performing opportunities would also be appropriate if approved by the local school district.
- A recreational trip, on the other hand, would not meet the definition of an educational field trip as provided in Section 480(f) of the UIL Constitution and Contest Rules. Students receiving the benefits of a purely recreational trip would likely be in violation of the Awards Rule.
- Booster Clubs may also fund scholarships for private lessons and summer music camps provided the selection of the recipients is not based on success in interscholastic competition. Funds for such activities should be carefully monitored to ensure that they are expended for educational rather than recreational activities.
- The awarding of patches, T-shirts or other items for achievement in interscholastic competition would be subject to the UIL Awards Rule. See Section 480(2)(A), UIL Constitution and Contest Rules. In order to protect all music students’ eligibility, such awards should be approved and administered by the local school district in accordance with school district policies.
TEA and UIL Guidelines
Click here to access UIL Booster Club Guidelines, which apply to all booster clubs which participate in UIL events. This document provides guidelines which govern all booster club activities related to UIL-sponsored competition. Since the UIL regulates and governs what participants, sponsors, and coaches may and may not accept, it is very important booster club members and parents are aware of these guidelines.
TEA has also provided the TEA/UIL Side-by-side, which helps booster clubs navigate and understand how the different regulations work together.
According to UIL Guidelines "periodic financial statements itemizing all receipts and expenditures should be made to the general club membership and kept on file at the school."
Politics and Lobbying
A 501(c)(3) is not allowed to engage in political activity and only limited lobbying.
The organization can engage in general voter education about issues, even those that could affect its cause, as long as all points of view are represented. A forum with all candidates or both sides of a ballot initiative are examples of acceptable political activity.
Although a 501(c)(3) may not take political sides, it may spend up to 20% of its operating budget on so-called lobbying efforts if it follows the rules of "nonpartisanship." It's tricky ground though, so organizations need to know the rules thoroughly and tread very carefully.