RANDOLPH, NJ- The Board of Education had a meeting on Tuesday, May 6. The board approved the final budget for the 2014-2015 year and a much discussed topic, Booster Clubs.

President of Finance, Facilities, and Transportation, Al Matos reported that there were no changes to the budget discussed at earlier meetings. To read and view complete information about the final budget, click here

Matos also talked about the ROD grant. Currently, the ROD grant money has already been used to start the two projects discussed previously, involving Fernbrook and the high school.

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Another popular subject, Booster Clubs, was again reviewed. Questions have been brought up on what a Booster Club does and where it puts the money that is collected from athletic, visual and performing arts and other programs.

“Booster Clubs serve a very needed role in our school district,” said Board of Education member, David Rosenblatt. “With respect to Booster Clubs we want to encourage them.”

Booster Clubs are formed so that students who are interested in extracurricular activities have the money and resources to host an event for that particular program. The issue at times is whether the funds that are raised at an event for a particular club should go back to benefit that club. People that generate these events will be less likely to volunteer if they are not sure that the money will go back to that activity or program.

Although Rosenblatt encourages Booster Clubs, he feels that none of the Booster Clubs are following the current written policy. This may be the case for multiple independent reasons.

A member of the public, Rich Phillip, President of the Athletic Ram Rack, attended the meeting to provide some clarity on the subject.

“From a Booster Clubs’ perspective, we generate funds completely from fundraisers. There’s been some discussion that certain clubs generate money from collecting money from a gate or entrance fee. From the athletic perspective, I try to solicit all the Booster Club presidents and say what the practice in terms of Booster Clubs is. Are there some places where there is some gate collection? I found that there is no situation that has come to my attention where there is a gate fee being collected by a Booster Club and held by a Booster Club. From a fundraising perspective, what we wind up doing are car washes and things like that to generate funds, which is used as a Booster Club on a sport side for many of the things on the sports perspective. We’re fund uniforms, we fund equipment. We’re improving things,” said Phillip. 

There are about 32 Booster Clubs in Ram Rack, one for each activity. Phillip reported that the money raised does indeed go back to the programs.