6020 Policy – System of Funds and Accounts


Bellingham Public Schools shall maintain a system of funds with the county treasurer in accordance with state law and the accounting manual approved by the state superintendent of public instruction. The funds are:

General Fund

The General Fund (GF) is financed primarily from local taxes, state support funds, federal

grants, and local receipts. These revenues are used specifically for financing the ordinary and legally authorized operations of the district for all grades. The GF includes money which has been segregated for the purpose of carrying on specific activities including, but not limited to, the basic and special education program. The GF is managed in accordance with special regulations, restrictions and limitations and constitutes an independent fiscal and accounting entity.

Capital Projects Fund

The Capital Projects Fund (CPF) contains:

a. proceeds from the sale of voted bonds (unlimited tax general obligation bonds) and non-voted bonds (limited general obligation bonds);

b. State of Washington financing assistance (state matching money);

c. transfers from the district’s basic education allotment,

d. the proceeds of special levies;

e. earnings from capital projects fund investments, growth management impact fees, state environmental protection act mitigation payments;

f. rental or lease proceeds and proceeds from the sale of property.


Permissible expenditures from the proceeds derived from the sale of voted bonds, including the investment earnings thereon, is governed expressly by state law and, may include the acquisition of land or existing buildings, improvements to buildings and/or grounds, design and construction and/or remodeling of buildings, or initial equipment; provided that, the bond election resolution and ballot proposition approved by the voters authorizing the bonds includes these items. The Washington Constitution prohibits the use of voted bond proceeds to replace equipment.


Proceeds from other sources are also governed by state law and may be used for major renovation and replacement including but not limited to roofing, heating and ventilating systems, floor covering and electrical systems; renovation of play fields and other district real property; energy audits, capital improvements and major items of equipment, furniture and implementing technology systems, facilities and projects, including acquiring hardware, licensing software and online applications that are an integral part of the district’s technology systems.


Any money from the sale of voted bonds and investment earnings thereon remaining after the authorized capital improvements have been completed may be used to: (a) acquire, construct, install, equip and make other capital improvements to the district’s facilities; or (b) retire and/or defease a portion of voted bonds, all as the school board may determine by resolution after holding a public hearing pursuant to RCW 28A.530.020.


Investment earnings derived from other sources in the CPF should be retained in the CPF and used for statutorily authorized purposes. The district may transfer investment earnings in the CPF, which have not been derived from voted bond proceeds, to a different fund; provided that, such investment earnings may only be expended for instructional supplies, equipment or capital outlay purposes. The superintendent should consult the board and appropriate district staff prior to altering the use of voted bond proceeds and transferring investment earnings out of the CPF.


Debt Service Fund

The Debt Service Fund (DSF) is for the payment of principal of and interest on outstanding voted and non-voted bonds. Disbursements are made by the county treasurer by means of treasurer’s checks. Provision shall be made annually for the making of a levy sufficient to meet the annual payments of principal and semiannual payments of interest. The district may transfer surplus investment earnings from the DSF to any other school district fund; provided that, such investment earnings are spent only for instructional supplies, equipment or capital outlay purposes. The district may transfer such investment earnings to other school district funds unless the resolution authorizing the voted bonds requires investment earnings to remain in the DSF to secure payment of voted bonds, thereby reducing future tax collections and the corresponding tax levy rate. The superintendent should consult with the board and appropriate staff prior to transferring interest earning out of the DSF.


Non-voted bonds are required to be repaid from the school district’s DSF, rather than the fund that actually received the non-voted bond proceeds. As a result, to pay principal of and interest on the non-voted bond, an operating transfer must be used from the CPF (or other fund) to the DSF. The school district should create a separate account within the DSF to repay the non- voted bond. The district should internally segregate the money pledged to repay the non-voted bond from any excess property taxes deposited in the DSF for the repayment of voted bonds.


Prior to the issuance of a non-voted bond the superintendent or a designee shall review the repayment process with the board and the county treasurer. The proceeds from the sale of real property may be placed in the DSF or CPF, except for the amount required to be expended for the costs associated with the sale of such property.


Associated Student Body Program Fund

The board is responsible for the protection and control of student body financial resources just as it is for other public funds placed in its custody. The financial resources of the Associated Student Body Program Fund (ASB Fund) are for the benefit of students. Student involvement in the decision-making processes related to the use of this money is an integral part of the associated student body, except that the board may delegate the authority to a staff member to act as the associated student body for any school which contains no grade higher than grade six.


Money in the ASB Fund is public money and may not be used to support or oppose any political candidate or ballot measure. Money raised by students through recognized student body organizations shall be deposited in and disbursed from the fund which is maintained by the county treasurer. The ASB Fund is subject to management and accounting procedures which are similar to those required for all other district moneys. ASB constitutions shall provide for participation by ASB representatives in the decisions to budget for and disburse ASB Fund money. Private non- associated student body fund money raised for scholarships, student exchanges and charitable purposes shall be held in trust by the district.


Transportation Vehicle Fund

The Transportation Vehicle Fund (TVF) includes:

a. the proceeds from the sale of transportation vehicles;

b. lease, rental, or occasional use of surplus buses;

c. depreciation reimbursement for district-owned buses;

d. proceeds of TVF levies;

e. optional transfers from the GF;

f. and investment funds coming from the TVF.


The TVF may be used to purchase and/or rebuild buses on a contract or cash basis. Money may be transferred from the TVF to the DSF exclusively for the payment of principal of and interest on non-voted debt incurred by the TVF. Such a transfer does not constitute a transfer of money from the TVF within the meaning of RCW 28A.160.130.


Bank Accounts

The district shall maintain a system of bank accounts as follows:

a. A district depository and/or transmittal bank account;

b. An associated student body imprest bank account for each school having an associated student body organization approved by the board;

c. Petty cash accounts in such numbers as are necessary to meet the petty cash needs of the schools and divisions of the distric


The board may authorize the establishment of such accounts. Each petty cash account shall be approved by the board. A custodian shall be appointed for these accounts who shall be independent of invoice processing, check signing, general accounting and cash receipts functions. If this separation of functions is not feasible, another employee who is independent of those functions shall be responsible for reviewing the management of each account.

Adopted/Previous Revisions: 02/14/08; 02/14/13
Updated: 10/17/19
Superintendent or Board Approved: Superintendent Approved
Cross References: Content

Policy 3510 Associated Student Bodies

Policy 6030 Financial Reports

Policy 6100 Revenues from Local, State and Federal Sources

Legal References: Content

Wash.Const., Article VII, § 2    Voted bond proceeds and capital levy proceeds — Uses

RCW 28A.320.320                   Investment of funds of district

RCW 28A.320.330                   School funds enumerated — Deposits — Uses

RCW 28A.325.010                   Fees for optional noncredit extra curricular events— Disposition

RCW 28A.325.020                    Associated student bodies — Powers and responsibilities affecting

RCW 28A.325.030                    Associated student body program fund – Fund- raising activities – Nonassociated student body program fund moneys

RCW 28A.335.060                    Surplus school property – Rental, lease or use of – disposition of moneys received from

RCW 28A.505.140                    Rules for budgetary procedures—Review by superintendent—Notice of irregularity—Budget revisions

RCW 28A.530.010                    Directors may borrow money, issue bonds

RCW 28A.530.020                    Bond issuance – Election – Resolution to specify purposes

RCW 28A.530.080                    Additional authority to contract indebtedness

RCW 42.17.130                        Disclosure – Campaign Finances – Lobbying – Records

RCW 43.09.200                         Local government accounting – Uniform system of accounting

RCW 43.09.210                         Local government accounting – Separate accounts for each fund or activity

RCW 84.52.053                         Levies by school districts authorized – When – Procedure

RCW 84.52.056                        Excess levies for capital purposes authorized

WAC 392-123                            Finance — School District Budgeting

WAC 392-138                            Finance — ASB Moneys

State Auditor Bulletin #301, III(E)  Petty Cash, (PT3, Ch 3, Pg. 8)

SSB 5644                                   Cooperative Skill Centers – Facility Maintenance – Accounting