Keeping Tabs

HIGH SCHOOL sports can be big business in Ohio. So much so that prep booster clubs are now under the scrutiny of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. In addition, so are parent-teacher organizations.

That all came about when the state’s lawmakers authorized the office in August to require all boosters and PTOs handling more than $25,000 to provide annual reports, including financial records.

We believe the new law is a much-needed one and guards against mishandling of funds. While rare, the Ohio Valley has been home to improprieties with school-related groups. A few years back, a local high school band group’s treasurer was caught with sticky fingers with her organization’s funds.

Until now, booster groups and PTOs were exempted from state law that already required registration with the Attorney General’s Office by other charitable trusts and nonprofits operating in the state.

But now with support groups needing to raise more and more money to aid financially-strapped schools and their athletic departments, the temptation increases. Should funds come up missing, students and athletes are the ones who suffer.

The state’s new law will go a long way of curbing any wrongdoing within support organizations.

Here in the Ohio Valley, our schools rely heavily on booster clubs and other fund-raising arms to make ends meet. And it would be safe to say nearly all members involved are doing so for the right reason — youths.

But one incident, regardless of the amount involved, is one too many. The new law creates the accountability which has been missing.