Bay County Principals Given More Authority In Booster Money Distribution

Panama City, FL---The Bay County School Board is working to try and give it's high school principals a little more say in how money is passed between school booster clubs and school employees, specifically athletic coaches!

The board Tuesday voted unanimously to mandate any money given from a booster club, to a coach or other school employee, first be approved by that school's principal.

This appears to be a reaction to, among other instances, of Arnold's booster club giving outgoing head football coach James Hale a cash gift back in January of 2013.

Arnold Principal Keith Bland complained about that gift to Arnold boosters, but could do nothing else about it.

It bears noting booster clubs are separate not for profit entities, and principals have no legal say in how that money is used.

The school board changing that to some degree, today's actions means they can have a say in how coaching stipends, expense reimbursements and other monies are doled out from booster clubs to school employees.

"And otherwise if a principal doesn't give the authorization," says Dr. John Haley is Bay District School's Operational Services Executive Director "a school board employee will not be paid. That particular piece was not in our policy before. So that's the biggest change. Of course the principals have always had the authority to determine whether booster clubs exist. They've still got that. But it makes things clearer now than what it was before."

So some more authority going to the principals. It bears noting, in the case of coach Hale, or others like him, if a club wishes to give an outgoing coach a gift or money, it can simply wait until that coach is no longer employed by the school board, and give it then.

This new rule change would have no bearing on the club's ability to do that.