A proposed design of a manual of accounting for student activity funds for use in the public schools of Virginia

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Extracurricular programs have been a part of the public schools since the early 1800's. By the middle of the twentieth century the number and diversity of extracurricular activities increased appreciably. As school activities have increased the supportive funds necessary to finance these programs have increased proportionately. As often happens in areas of rapid growth, administrative policies and procedures designed to operate the programs have tended not to keep pace with the expanding program structure.

The rapid growth of extracurricular programs in recent years has placed strain on the now obsolete financial system with which the financial administrators have had to content. The Manual on System of Accounting for Student Activity Funds currently in use in Virginia Public Schools was adopted in 1954.

The problem of this study was to design a current, legally based, and theoretically and operationally sound manual of accounting for school activity funds in the state of Virginia. More specifically, the problem of this study was to synthesize empirically-based information into a user-adjudged feasible and desirable policy and procedure statement which would provide the practicing school administrator with a comprehensive document for accounting for school activity funds.

From a study of the literature in the area of student activity fund accounting, an examination of case and statutory law from across the United States, a review of Virginia School Laws, Regulations of the State Board of Education, Virginia Attorney Generals Opinions, and the expertise provided by certified public accountants, high school principals and high school bookkeepers, a manual for accounting for student activity funds was developed. This manual reflects the best judgment of a user audience concerning the current state of the art of the management of student activity funds, and contains explanations and instructions essential to the administration of and accounting for student activity funds.

Section titles of the manual as developed were as follows:

Section I: Virginia State Laws and State Board Regulations

Section II: Classification of Receipts and Expenditures

Section III: Accounting Procedures

Section IV: Internal Control

Section V: Management of Student Body Funds

Section VI: Responsibilities of Personnel in Student Activity Fund Accounting

Section VII: Approved Forms and Instructions

Section VIII: Glossary of Terms