The transition from elementary to secondary school (middle school and beyond) and the differences between what an ASB is responsible for vs. a PTSO cause the most questions for parents. In the simplest terms, the interests and rights of students in K-6 schools are almost exclusively managed by the PTSO and School Administration; in secondary schools, students are given rights to fundraise and spend money in new and empowering ways, still with clear guidelines from the state. Some of what, in elementary school, used to be the purview of the principal and the PTSO is now the responsibility of the students and their governing body.
The following explanation is taken directly from The Associated Student Body Accounting Manual, Fraud Prevention Guide and Desk Reference published by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT). As you read the following explanation, please keep in mind that Middletown’s ASB as a secondary school is considered an “Organized ASB” and thus follows the guidelines and expectations prescribed for such schools under the California Education Code.
ASB organizations are classified as either organized or unorganized. There are some differences in procedures between organized and unorganized ASB organizations. In general, unorganized ASBs are those in which the students do not govern the ASB organization, and organized ASBs are those in which the students organize their activities around student clubs and a student council. The requirements for unorganized ASBs are generally not as complex or specific as for organized ASBs.
Elementary/Unorganized ASB Schools
In elementary schools, the ASB organization is called unorganized because as a rule, the students do not govern the ASB organization. Usually there is only the primary student body organization and no additional clubs with a more focused agenda. Adult education, continuation, special education, regional occupational programs (ROPs) and K-8 schools are also considered to have unorganized ASBs.
Although students in unorganized ASBs raise funds, they usually have more limited involvement in making decisions about the fund-raising events and how the funds are to be spent. The governing board delegates the authority to oversee the raising and spending of funds to the principal/site administrator or another school employee, who is able to make all of the decisions related to the ASB operations and funds.
Secondary/Organized ASB Schools
Student organizations in middle, junior and high schools are called organized because the students organize their activities around student clubs and a student council. At both community colleges and secondary schools, there is oversight by district administration and advisors.
Organized ASBs normally have individual clubs under the primary student body organization, each with its own focus and organizational requirements. Students in organized ASBs are primarily responsible for their organizations; the student council and student club leaders hold formal meetings, develop budgets, plan fund-raisers, decide how the funds will be spent, and approve payments. The students make the decisions; the school administration, ASB bookkeeper and club advisor(s) assist and advise.
To this end, Middletown’s ASB as a secondary school is considered an “Organized ASB” and thus follows the guidelines and expectations prescribed for such schools under the California Education Code.