Guides for Schools

HOW ARE ORDERS PROCESSED?

Q. HOW ARE NYSTL ORDERS AND PAYMENT VOUCHERS PROCESSED?

A. NYSTL orders and payment vouchers are processed the same way as regular tax-levy purchases. Refer to the section covering "OTPS Purchase and Payments" in the "School Purchasing Guide," issued by the Division of Contracts and Purchasing and available through DCP's electronic purchasing system or online at DCP's web site: http://schools.nyc.gov/dcp


ACCOUNTABILITY PROCEDURES?


Q.
WHAT ARE THE ACCOUNTABILITY PROCEDURES?

A.
A record of NYSTL encumbrances and the balance of available NYSTL funds are maintained in the same way as Purchase Order charges are maintained against other budget codes.

By approving a NYSTL order, the School Principal and Regional Superintendent/Executive Director affirms that the cost of the order is within the funds available to the ROC/Central Office and that the material being ordered consists exclusively of NYSTL - compliant textbooks as defined above.


WHAT ABOUT INVENTORY?


Q.
MUST AN INVENTORY BE MAINTAINED?

A. YES - State regulations require that inventory records for NYSTL materials be designated as such and kept separate from other tax-levy and reimbursable-program inventory records. Inventory records may be kept on a "Book Inventory Card" (ITEM # 25-2110.00.5), available from DCP or electronically, on a district-designated computer database (which may be a standard commercial inventory program or one custom-designed to meet the ROC's specific requirements). Regardless of the system used, the ROC/central office should maintain a record of the respective textbook inventory of all the schools under their jurisdiction in one location.

Q. MUST NYSTL- ACQUIRED BOOKS BE UNIQUELY IDENTIFIABLE?

A. YES - It is mandated that NYSTL identification must be affixed to all books purchased with NYSTL funds. A rubber stamp or printed sticker, that can be obtained from any stationary store, or computer-generated labels (that may be included in the ROC'S adopted inventory software) are recommended means of meeting this requirement.

Q. WHEN MUST INVENTORY BE TAKEN AND UPDATED?

A. Annual Inventory of NYSTL materials should be taken and records updated during the year to note the current disposition of stock, in accordance with procedures outlined in the SDCP chapter on inventory. The inventory system chosen should be uniform throughout the district. In all cases, records should be updated when books are removed from, or added to, the designated storage areas. Results of the annual inventory should be reconciled with the district's master inventory record and should be readily available for examination in reviewing and filling of textbook requests. At the end of the school, year, all textbooks should be returned to their specified storage location(s) and inventory records adjusted accordingly.

Q. FOR HOW LONG MUST INVENTORY RECORDS BE MAINTAINED?

A. Five years, from the date of receipt of NYSTL materials at the school.

Q.
ARE THERE STATE GUIDELINES CONCERNING RECOVERY OF LOST OR DAMAGED BOOKS?
A. NO - The law authorizes the establishment of reasonable rules and regulations governing the loan of books. These allow the school to ask students for reimbursement and/or fines when materials are damaged, lost, destroyed, or defaced. The amount cannot be greater than the actual value of the lost/damaged book.

Q.
ARE THERE PROVISIONS CONCERNING COLLECTION OF FINES FOR LOST OR DAMAGED BOOKS?
A. Sections 170.2 (h) and (I) of the State Commissioner's Regulations cover such collections. Generally, a district-authorized school staff member should issue receipts for payments of fines and payments should be recorded appropriately. These should be in numerical sequence and issued in triplicate: original going to the payer, one copy to the ROC (or his designee), and one copy retained by the school official receiving the funds. School receipts should be reviewed and audited annually by the district.

Q. CAN I WITHHOLD BOOKS FOR NON-PAYMENT OF FINES?

A. NO - The DOE may not withhold textbooks from a student who fails to return loaned textbooks from a prior year and who fails to reimburse the school for their value. Education Law Sec. 3202 states that a student is entitled to textbooks as part of a free public education. To the extent that it does not violate a student's rights under this section, districts may adopt reasonable rules to address this issue. For instance, a student can be required to work from a classroom copy of a textbook but would not be provided with an individual copy. Any adopted procedures should be clearly communicated to all parents and students in advance. Care must be taken to ensure equitable, district-wide implementation. Equitable is not related to equal dollars; books should be loaned on the basis of individual pupil need.