Oct 1, 2019

Booster Groups Story on FOX News

Pickerington Schools is releasing the following statement in response to the story about to air on Fox 28 News tonight:

Booster groups are separate organizations with their own tax ID number, organizational structure, officers and bylaws. These organizations, when endorsed by the district, are formally approved as district support groups. The Pickerington Central Music Boosters is one of those groups that has been formally endorsed by the district, and the district believes that its operations support the music and band programs at Central High School.

The district is aware of a complaint or complaints filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s (OAG) Office within the last 12-15 months. The district openly and transparently worked with the investigative team from the OAG’s office, as did the leadership team of the Central Music Boosters. On August 6, 2019, the OAG’s Office sent a letter detailing its findings to the Central Music Boosters. In key part, that letter stated “Although the Office has not uncovered any issues requiring additional escalation at this time (emphasis added), the investigation has revealed some areas for improvement as it relates to the organization’s procedures and board oversight.”

The full letter from the OAG investigator can be found here.

Additionally, the district worked with its auditing team at Julian & Grube to provide support to the Central Music Boosters by way of “agreed upon procedures” (AUP). The AUP covered the financial transactions from June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2018. The AUP was completed in the late fall of 2018 through early 2019. The full AUP report can be accessed here.

Based on the results of these thorough reviews by the administrative agencies, the district has no reason to believe that the Pickerington Central Music Boosters has engaged in any unlawful or unethical conduct. We understand that the reviews did point out areas of improvement for the Pickerington Central Music Boosters, and the district has worked with and will continue to work with the Central Music Booster officers to strengthen operations in the identified areas. The district understands its obligation to work with all of its booster groups in the same manner. As part of that process, the district will be offering, in conjunction with the OAG’s Office, mandatory training for all booster officers beginning in 2020.

We appreciate the faith and confidence that our community has in the district as we work with our booster groups to operate openly and transparently. If you have questions, please contact Treasurer Ryan Jenkins at 614.833.2110, or ryan_jenkins@plsd.us.