Saturday, November 6, 2010

The DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation

A recent post criticized The DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation for not providing information and for referring the inquirer to our web site: www.dcpsf.org.

In an effort to let everyone know more about The DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation (DCPSF), I felt it best to submit this overview. The DCPSF is an organization whose mission is "to serve and strengthen the DeKalb County School District in its pursuit of high levels of academic achievement for all students."

The DCPSF is headed up by a Board of volunteers. The DCPSF seeks to obtain donations from corporations and individuals to assist with funding various programs such as Teacher of the Year and individual student scholarships. In addition the DCPSF works with individuals at local schools to provide a process for fundraising to benefit the local school.

In prior years the DCPSF was known as Partners in Education. But a few years ago we updated our name and our efforts.

Information about the DCPSF is readily available at our website, and I encourage you to check it out. You will find how to start a local group at your school, information about events DCPSF has provided, lists of corporate and individual sponsors for each event, news about activities such as the Converse-Nike sponsored healthy life styles event, and other information.

The DCPSF is always open to helping our DeKalb County Public Schools and to providing a 501(c)(3) organization to accept charitable contributions that will be used to fulfill our mission statement as noted above. We hope this brief overview gives you an idea of our program and of our enthusiastic commitment to the public school students of DeKalb County.

Thank you for your attention,

Rob Augustine, Secretary to the DCPSF

54 comments:

DCSS Teacher said...

An inspiring article on what can be done with a failing school system from Baltimore, reported today in the AJC @ http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2010/11/05/turning-around-baltimore-ceo-wants-to-do-it-without-deadening-love-of-learning/?cxntfid=blogs_get_schooled_blog.

The superintendent fired 33% of central office staff to get more money for teaching students, housed the "untouchables" in central office when the community did not want them in any school, and devoted more space to older-for-grade students. Can you imagine anything close to this level of vision from anyone in DCSS?

Anonymous said...

He also closed a school mid year because none of the school leaders would say that they would send their children there. We should hire him now.

Make him an offer he can't refuse, simply for being brave enough to do this.

Ella Smith said...

The problem I have with the foundations I have seen at schools is that a few board members who are permanent fixtures make the decisions of where the money that is donated is spent. I have more respect for PTA groups so they represent members of the entire school and not just special groups of individuals. However, I do know these groups do many good things.

I want to be able to donate money to a school or organization and put the money where I want the money to go. I am not opposed to these groups by any means. I think they are good as far as trying to get money from businesses. However, I perfer to decide myself where my money goes. However, I might start making donations to Cross Key's Foundation as I know the money will go where it is needed, and that all groups of individuals at a school will have equal access to benifit from it. Kim is a jewel and he truely cares about every single child at Cross Keys High School. He has my ultimate respect.

Anonymous said...

Ella is correct. At our high school, the school's "foundation" has had the same board for the last four years, and the oficial address they give to donate money is the home address of one of the co-chairs! Who are husband and wife! It is all very unprofessional, yet they want people to raise $1 million for school improvements. Several people I know with corporate connections said there is no way that would pass muster with their philanthropic arms. If schools want foundations, they need to set them up in a very professional manner, in order to gain respect and money.

Anonymous said...

So I look at the DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation website, and who do I see as one of its Directors Emeritus:

Robert L. Brown, Jr

Yes, that Robert Brown who made millions of dollars from the DeKalb County School System as an architect, with his most famous project being the SW DeKalb High addition that was budgeted for only $9 million dollars, but wound up costing $21 million dollars of your taxpayer money. Can you say change orders and overruns?

Robert Brown is another one of DeKalb's ultimate insiders. Friend of C Lew's. Friend of Vernon Jones'.

He was on the Grady Hospital Board for years, the bad years, when millions went wasted, when there were criminal investigations, etc. Who will ever forget the shadiness of Charles Walker & Grady?

http://clatl.com/atlanta/was-walker-the-tip-of-gradys-iceberg/Content?oid=1254113

So when Robert Brown finally left the Grady Board after his tenure of disgrace there, what happened to him?

Well, since his was so politically connected, the DeKalb Delegation elected him as our representative on the State Transportation Board. Yep, after he allowed millions of DeKalb taxpayer dollars to be wasted at Grady, our incredibly clueless delegation put him in a position that oversees billions of dollars each year.

Sorry, DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation and Rob Augustine, if you have Robert Brown as one of your Directors Emeritus, your credibility is no better than eduKALB's (and we all know what that's worth these days).

Anonymous said...

The problem that I have with DCPSF is that I want to know what they are funding (using their money)-transparency. I don't want to support the Teacher of the Year, a popularity contest and meaningless title at most schools.

As a parent and former DCSS teacher, I want to improve DCSS schools, as ALL children in DeKalb deserve a better education. I do not see how DCPSF is supporting our children and helping to improve the quality of education that the children across the county are receiving.

Mr. Augustine, Mission states mean nothing to me. I have become cynical as one who has worked in the field of education for 15+ years. I have read too many well written mission statements, with no action to back them up.

I like many other frustrated parents want to support a foundation, organization, whatever, that is truly vested in helping ALL children across the county get the quality education that they deserve and that the county is spending its billion dollars on.

I have learned that transparency is the key to any organization, as there is just too much corruption, fraud, and friends helping friends at all costs.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rob Augustine: If you want the public to have any respect for, let alone donate their hard earned income to, the DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation Board, here are some EASY suggestions for you to implement:

-Open your meetings to the public (there is no meeting info. on your website). Heck, we not webcast them. Post the audio online.

-Post agenda's and meeting minutes online.

-Here is the biggie when it comes to trust: Post financial statements and donor list online. You don't have to list the amount given by a donor, but you darn sure have a suty to list who's donating. If it's the out of state Sembler exec's that gene Walker is best buddies with, that's the type of thing that will determine whether your organization has credibility or is just another "poser" like eduKALB.

Rob, you have to earn trust and respect. You're off to a bad start by having Robert Brown as part of your group.

Anonymous said...

Robert Brown is a "Director Emeritus". He is retired and this is an honorary title - just like Brad Bryant.

Why is it that some of you are so desperate to bring down DCSS for EVERYTHING that you search and search for even the smallest, inconsequential thing to look for?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that some of you are so desperate to keep the same small handful of players involved with a school system that spends over a billion dollars a year of our tax money?

Why is it that some of you are so desperate to keep someone like Robert Brown involved with a foundation that solicits money for school system, when it is to his advantage as he tries to secure million dollar contracts with the school system?

Anonymous said...

If the foundation sent a survey to teachers and staff, 99% would think the #1 goal of DCPSF is to fund the Teacher of the Year process. The foundation has a communication and marketing problem. If staff of DCSS do not know what you are doing on "their behalf" how can they support your efforts.
Conduct a SWOT analysis and make a change in your organization for more success.

Anonymous said...

If the DCPSF, Inc. is headed up by a board of volunteers, why are their two Directors full-time employees of DCSS? Also, if it is a separate foundation, why is their office located at the Mountain Industrial site?

The DCPSF, Inc. web site lists events that they have sponsored to raised funds, but does not list any specific student centered programs that they have supported or funded. Events like the Teacher of the Year banquet are generally self-supporting.

And, wasn't this new foundation started at the request of the former superintendent, Dr. Lewis?

Anonymous said...

"Also, if it is a separate foundation, why is their office located at the Mountain Industrial site?"

I sure hope they are paying rent to be in the new palace.

Anonymous said...

The idea, I believe, was to spin this off to be an independent organization eventually, but that idea has failed so far for two obvious reasons,

1. Dr. Lewis and THE troubles
2. the economy

I would also add that I think the number of bigwigs in DeKalb that are interested in the school system is a pretty limited pool.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rob - when is the DCPSF gonna do an annual report listing all donors, what your organization has funded and what you budget is? Yes, you say you are a private non-profit, but as long as your two employees' salaries are paid for by DCSS taxpayer dollars, you cannot consider yourself immune to open records requests. You don't pay any rent for the space at MIC or for any of the computers or office equipment used. You're the most non-communicative group around and seem to have kept your goings on secret. Not a great way to run a foundation who's trying to raise $. Just how much have you raised exactly?!! And why should I give to your organization if I don't even know what you're funding?

Anonymous said...

You can easily search the 990 Form for this foundation at GuideStar. You can see their expenses, but not the salaries.

Does anyone here know the two paid employees for the past few years?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the DCSS employees at DCPSF, Inc.

Ms. Neeley is a veteran DCSS employee who evidently is "well connected."

Ms. Hiott, now listed on the DCPSF, Inc. web site was originally hired by DCSS for the athletics department. Previously, she was one of the DCSS Coca-Cola representatives.

However, when the foundation was started, a Ms. Pam Tallmadge worked there. She resigned recently. Previously, she was Mr. Jim Redovian's campaign manager.

Anonymous said...

Jim Redovian has never had a campaign manager.

Ella Smith said...

I am opposed to foundations.

However, I would like to see an organization that allows everyone to join who wants to be a part.

I do not want to see 15 or 20 members make decisions and feel that they can decide what is best for the county schools system. They are only 15 or 20 community members. I would like to see hundreds of members with officers with a cause to advocate for improving education in the DeKalb County Schools. This is totally different. It is not about endorsing candidates or special interests like redistricting schools. It is just about improving our schools in all parts of the county. Would anyone besides me like to see this?

Dunwoody Mom said...

"Also, if it is a separate foundation, why is their office located at the Mountain Industrial site?"

Check any legally registersch school foundation - the address is that of the school. Why shouldn't the foundation of the school system be at the system headquarters?

That comment just makes no sense.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Ella, foundations are what hAVE allowed individual schools to raise money to support the educational opportunities of that particular school. All of my children's schools have their own separate foundations.

My sense is that the DCSS Foundation is for those schools that don't have the resources financially to organize or support their schools in such a manner.

Anonymous said...

Dunwoody Mom, Not all school foundations have the school as the address, as a matter of fact, not one of the schools that I have worked in have the school as the address, but it has been a parent's home address or office that has been the address of the foundation. Many don't trust the school foundations, as things are not transparent in these organizations either.

Given the corruption in DCSS, wanting to know why the address for DCPSF is the district office, makes perfectly good sense to me. I frankly don't want to support another organization that continues DCSS in the usual corrupt friends and family way. To make me and I am sure others think that this is a legit a foundation/organization, whatever you want to call it, is going to have to be crystal clear in transparency and support ALL of the schools in the district.

Anonymous said...

Very, very INTERESTING stuff about the DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation from their last year's tax return on Guidestar.

They received $161,790 in contributions and has a little more in other revenue.

They had $192,520 in expenses.

They were in the red for an overall of $30,412.

So what did they do with all that $161 plus.

Well, the only grant they gave above $5,000 was to Clarkston High for a lab for $10,000.

They only gave out another $13,430 on top of that.

Hmmm. They take in $161 plus, but only gave out $23,430.

So what did they spend their money on?

Only three categories.

1) $2,500 on accounting.

2) $23,854 on "Other".

3) And a whooping $142,736 on "Conventions, conference and meetings".

WTF?

Well, it makes sense, as Robert Brown was listed as their Chairman last year, and he likes to travel.

Still, is it me, or is it crazy that they took in $161+, only gave out $23+, and spent an incredible
$142+ on "conventions, conference and meetings".


Don't take my word, go to Guidestar yourself (you'll have to register though; it's free).

Would you give money to a group that only gives out about twenty percent of its contributions? Not me.

Anonymous said...

"They received $161,790 in contributions and has a little more in other revenue.
They had $192,520 in expenses.
They were in the red for an overall of $30,412.
And a whooping $142,736 on "Conventions, conference and meetings"."


Seriously, what did you expect from an organization started by Crawford Lewis and posts absolutely no detailed information on their website? What kind of suckers would contribute $161,000 to them in the first place?

Rob Augustine, please explain the above figures.

If you want to give money directly, without an incredible 80% overhead like DCPSF, go to www.donorschoose.org.

Here are projects in DeKalb:
http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/search.html?zone=313&community=1234:1&max=50

Anonymous said...

Is that the same Pam T that has been campaigning and sending emails in support of Redovian? That now makes a lot of sense. No wonder she is promoting him.

Anonymous said...

Kim Gokce, you are doing fantastic work with the Cross Key High Foundation.

Please, please, please do the opposite of what the DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation is doing.

Please be transparent. Please post agenda's, meeting minutes, your tax form, how you spend the money.

Please, please, please have a low overhead. Please use the money that comes in on our students and teachers, not on "Conventions, conference and meetings"!

We admire you Kim. Please do the opposite of the DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation, and keep our trust. We want to know that our donations will be spent the right way, not on conventions, conference and meetings.

Anonymous said...

Well, Kim is doing things different than from DCPSF.

He lists a bio of each board member and you can e-mail each one.

http://www.crosskeysfoundation.org/index.php/ckf-aboutus/contactus

Simple stuff, but the DCPSF doesn't do so.

I don;t see any detialed finanical info. on the Cross Keys site yet, but I'm sure Kim will be transparent.


Chair, Board of Directors Kim Gokce
2 Member, Board of Directors Aparna Bhattacharyya
3 Member, Board of Directors Jennifer Mayer
4 Member, Board of Directors Julia Russo
5 Member, Board of Directors Julie Colon Koriakin
6 Member, Board of Directors Karen Kropp
7 Member, Board of Directors Ray Ortega
8 Member, Board of Directors Terri Barnard

Anonymous said...

DCPSF is modeled upon DCSS. The DCSS administration also rips off a tremendous amount of the money, extracted from taxpayers at the threat of a home lien, and leaves relatively little for really teaching.

It will be the same after the incumbents win the run off. But maybe Redovian will get knocked off. There are some thinking people in District 1.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, the Foundation hasn't found success. It probably is time to fold it up and revert back to the old partners in ed model.

I was always skeptical because DeKalb isn't a hotbed of corporate headquarters and corporate giving.
Atlanta's Education fund gets big money from big donors.

http://www.atlef.org/sponsor.html

Dunwoody Mom said...

Dunwoody Mom, Not all school foundations have the school as the address, as a matter of fact, not one of the schools that I have worked in have the school as the address, but it has been a parent's home address or office that has been the address of the foundation

Can you give me an example of such a foundation? I'll be glad to research to confirm. If they are using a home address, then most likely it is not an "official" non-profit with 501-C status.

Anonymous said...

The people who started and run the Lakeside foundation use their home address as the official address of the 501(c)3. At least they used to .

Anonymous said...

Consider the choice of either joining DCPSF in their efforts or berating them -- Be honest to yourselves, which of the two options has a bigger positive impact on the children?

Anonymous said...

Hey,you folk..ever heard of just one positive thing that happened that we can all embrace and help push the negative stuff for some of our neighbors. Some of us have children still in this system and are pleased with their teachers, test scores and our administrators. Yes, we have many issues and we must broach them we energy and a sense of purpose.

Ella Smith said...

I am sure that money from the foundation was given to top brass to travel to workshops. However, the foundation may have paid for Lewis' workshop trip that got him in hot water also. I am sure if the Superintendent asked for the money he or she would get it. I am just saying there is no list of workshops or travel expenses. No telling what got paid for out of this money that was donated. This in itself is a problem.

I am sure the Lakeside Foundation is very above board. I know the individuals involved and I am sure it is above board and the money is being spent on the school. I have absolutely no doubt on the situation.

My issue has always been the exclusiveness of its membership and the individuals who make the decision. The board is the board so their is not public involvement other than give me money or donations. That is why I am more supportive a of group of citizens who pay $50.00 or $100.00 a year who elect their board or officers and who have a vote in decisions. This is all I am saying. The members should work to earn money and donations. However, the money is protected by many eyes who have access to look at the money as you pay your $50.00 or $100.00 a year to participate or vote if you want to want by attending meetings.

I dislike the foundations and organizations where only a few individuals are involved and make decisions. However, they want your money so they can decide what to do with it and also like EduKalb they want to tell you who to vote for also. They got one candiate right and that was Dr. Walker and in DeKalb County that was a pretty sure beat regarding who was running. Even if that race I do not think the people listen to EduKalb very much about their decision. People do not like to be told how to vote. This is a personal decision.

Anonymous said...

Consider the choice of either joining DCPSF in their efforts or berating them -- Be honest to yourselves, which of the two options has a bigger positive impact on the children?


The point that most are trying to make, is that we are not sure what their efforts are, so how can we support DCPSF. I emailed the organization and was referred to the web site. I read the web sited and didn't find the answers to my questions, which is why I emailed them. People want transparency with any involving the government or schools in DeKalb. There is nothing wrong with us wanting to know what we are truly supporting before we support it.

Anonymous said...

Y'all are making me crazy. I regularly defend the blog against people who say that posters are less than constructive, but this time you're off base.
Setting up a non-profit foundation for a specific school can be daunting and expensive. The DCSS Foundation simplifies this task. It's my impression that even the CKHS foundation uses the DCSS Foundation as an umbrella. It may the one part of DCSS that is not corrupt (except for the classroom teachers, who are all true heroes IMHO). If you don't like what a school foundation spends its money on, step away from the computer, go to a meeting, provide some input, take on an action item or two, and make a change. Don't just take electronic pot shots at people who have actually stepped up to the plate. Who freaking cares what address they use for receiving mail?

PolitiMom said...

Anon 12:23
The reason we are all here is to act as a collective whistle-blower on corruption and help make our system work better. My children LOVE their school, their teachers and our home school's test scores and administration are one of DeKalb's shining stars. BUT-it doesn't excuse all the mess at the Palace. I'm SO thankful there are people like Ella, Sandy, Cere and others who have the time to investigate and figure out fact from fiction. Since I don't, I listen and tell everyone I know and hopefully between all of us we can affect some change.

Anonymous said...

The problem with a foundation like the one at LHS that has had the same parents in charge who use their home address is that the board doesn't generally change over, there is no public accounting of where the funds are going, the board is not comprised of representatives of all stakeholders within the community (e.g. all 5 feeders, corporations, all different factions) -- it really seems to represent "one point of view" and has been that way from inception without any accounting being down to the public. So you have to trust that if you like the folks in charge, which personally, I do, then, you don't mind sending your money to their home address, and you don't know how much, if any is going to them for running the organization, and don't get to vote on the structure of the organization or or members or projects so there is a general sense that it "isn't the way it would be in the corporate world" and "something is just not right" with it....

Anonymous said...

PolitiMom, well said. The good thing for us out here living for truth and justice, is that truth and justice always wins out somewhere down the road. Time is on our side.

Besides, those who knowingly did wrong and threw innocent people under the bus, have to live with knowing that every single day and always always have to look over their shoulder wondering when their deeds are going to come home to roost.

Anonymous said...

All in good time. All in good time.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to donate to an organization you don't support. Vote with your dollars and if enough people feel the same then something will have to give.

Ella Smith said...

I agree that there is a problem with representation sometime. However, I have voiced my opinion on this and someone said I used the R word on a blog. The only thing in the world I could think this could be was that I suggested the possibility of more diversity on a board to reflect the school and members. I guess this bothered some individuals that I was bold enough to make such a suggestion so they went on a blog to say I used the R word to try to hurt me in the election. I absolutely could not believe someone would stomp so low. This could means so many things and I was upset that someone would turn what I said around indicated that what I said was some violation because I stepped out of line with my suggestion.

I like diversity as that is a part of life. I actually do not judge people by their religion, ethnic background or sexual perference. This is just not me so I do not have an understanding of why someone would think my recommendation was wrong in a public school group in DeKalb County Georgia.

Anonymous said...

It is currently against the law to have school systems support non-profits, but no one has brought suit yet against the systems that do this. The state of Ga just passed a law last session making it legal for the state to set up a non-profit for raising money for schools in this state. They passed it so it's an exception since it's unlawful to do what DCSS and others have done. Two good examples of school systems that are completely separate entities from the school systems and have totally separate offices are Atlanta Public Schools Foundation and Decatur's school system's foundation - I believe it's called the Decatur Education Foundation. They both have websites you can look up for more info.

Kim Gokce said...

While I understand the first instinct of some to be skeptical of anything with "DeKalb County Public Schools" in its name, I think those of you jumping on the DCPSF need to take a deep breath ...

Let me lead by saying that our Board of Directors at the Cross Keys Foundation (CKF) were in the final stages of filing our legal documents for incorporation and non-profit status (btw, thank you Rep. Mike Jacobs!) when we reached out to DCPSF as a matter of due diligence. Our Board felt that we should investigate the services offered by DCSPF as a possible cost savings opportunity and "speed to market."

Both panned out for us. Ms. Neely and Ms. Talmadge were instrumental in helping the Cross Keys Foundation get off the ground and we continue to operate happily under the umbrella of DCPSF. Our decision to partner with DCPSF was a fortuitous one based on two simple principles: 1) Leveraging their services meant more resources could be directed to our mission in Cross Keys attendance, 2) We could always "go it alone" if the relationship did not work.

If there is a mysterious conspiracy to defraud the public at DCPSF, they are doing a fabulous job of hiding it. We have found them to be frank, open, and cooperative in every case. They go out of their way to help us foster success for CKF. They have provided our organization with excellent support and have played no small part in the direct impact we have had in our attendance area. How are they helping?

For those with an open mind and who are truly looking for ways to help your local public schools, here's what you need to know ...

My understanding is that the DCPSF was setup to mirror what was accomplished in Cobb Co with their foundation. They have put in place the legal status and operational components necessary to spawn and sustain local school foundations. That means that they have setup the "firewalled" banking accounts necessary to support separate groups' accounting needs and they maintain the umbrella legal status as non-profit.

All donations we collect at CKF are made to payee "DCPSF" and are deposited directly into an account dedicated to CKF. This has worked flawlessly for us and we would not have accomplished as much as we have without their support. Literally, but for their support we would not have been able to offer the first two CKF Scholarships last May at CK Honors Night.

They have been quietly doing this for nearly two years. The CKF was the first group to leverage the DCPSF resources and status - more have followed. I am proud that we at CKF set the precedent for others to follow. The groups that are sprouting up around the County are doubtlessly a long-term positive for the future of public education in DeKalb and the community should be lauding and supporting the efforts of DCPSF.

I am happy to answer any questions neighbors in DeKalb have about how we've worked with DCPSF - send a note to kim AT crosskeysfoundation DOT org

For those that dismiss the entire DCPSF organization because of a relationship that disturbs you, realize that killing the patient to kill the tumor is a bad strategy in medicine and should be avoided in public organizations, too.

Lastly, regarding CKF openness ... with the exception of $100 ckeck printing fee from our bank, 100% of our collected funds have gone directly to the seven school houses of Cross Keys. We are a membership organization and welcome everyone to join as a member and volunteer to serve on our Board. We operate on 100% volunteer power and can always use more members and a few more Board members.

Our Board's next meeting with our Student Advisory Board is this Saturday, Nov 13, at The Library Coffee Co. at 8:30a and if you are willing to lend a hand, please join us.

Kim Gokce said...

Anon 1:57 "They passed it so it's an exception since it's unlawful to do what DCSS and others have done."

can you reference the statues in question? I'm sincerely interested to know what laws have been broken by DCSS in this regard.

Anonymous said...

Kim,

I'm glad that the DeKalb County Public Schools Foundation has done a nice job with you as a "pass through". That's a worthy service.

HOWEVER.

We are right to have some doubts. They have some explaining to do about being in the hole while spending $142,736 on "Conventions, conference and meetings"."

There website has little info. I hope, heck I pay, that if they did spend $142,736 on "Conventions, conference and meetings", that not one penny was spent on a DCSS administrator, and that those funds were only spent on teachers.

Lord knows we don't need one more penny spent on the Central Office.

It's 2010. It's easy to post statement, minutes, etc. online. I personally would consider donating to the DCPSF, but only if they were very transparent about their spending and fundraising.

Anonymous said...

Kim, it is illegal to have school system employees in this state raise money for a non-profit entity. Both of those salaries are being paid for by DCSS taxpayers, not from the Foundation board. Until the foundation board takes over funding all the foundation expenses, like the salaries of these two ladies, then they are technically not a separate entity and are still subject to open records requests et al just like DCSS. I'm glad it's working out for you and knowing you, it will run like clockwork. You are all volunteers on your board, which is different. But don't be fooled, I've read their agreement and they will take an "administration fee' out of your collections, and that's why our school didn't go with them. So please just be aware of that and be careful. Wishing you continued success/

Ella Smith said...

I see nothing wrong with the support the Foundations at the county office gives to Cross Keys Foundations and others.

I think this is part of their purpose.

It would be nice to post expensives. However, this is probable not a requirement of a foundation. This is why you have a choice as to if you donate to Foundations.

Kim is open with the Cross Keys Foundation to have others involvement. This is super. This is not the case with all foundations. Some of them have boards which are permanent fixtures. This is ok also. However, I do think involvement from the school community is important. It should not be just give me money or help me raise money. There should be involvement from the community in my opinion. Everyone has an opinion. I am sure Cross Keys Foundations is set up very well. That is why I have donated books and may get involved more with their Foundation. They are very above board and what involvement from the outside.

Kim all Foundations are not set up as openly and with involvement like your Foundation.

PolitiMom said...

Anon 6:25-would like to know where the statute is that makes that against the law. I know federal employees are prohibited from certain activities thru the Hatch Act, but I've never heard of such a law that prohibits county employees from supporting a non-profit. Seems to me that is a first amendment issue. Does that mean that teachers can't support Jump Rope for Heart (Amer. Heart Assn.) or Race for the Cure (ACS)? What about Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) or Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE)? Both 501c6's--also non-profit. I think your information is incorrect.

Kim Gokce said...

Anon 6:25 "I've read their agreement and they will take an "administration fee' out of your collections,"

In my reading of it, the only admin fees they have a right to are as a percentage of interest that is earned on account balances. In the case of CKF, we keep all of our cash assets working so that is a non-issue.

I could see foundations with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars sitting around paying these fees ... but then again I'd have to question why there is so much money lying around in the first place. The issue in those cases isn't that DCPSF charges admin feeds it is that the "sub-foundation" isn't putting their donations to work.

For me, there is no issue with asking reasonable questions about how the DCPSF operations. However, I would think the progressive folks on this blog would see to raise up, not tear down an initiative like this with so much promise.

Anonymous said...

According to the DCSS web site, this new foundation was officially started in January of 2008.

After all of the discussion, the real question remains: What student programs, school programs, etc. have received funds from the DCPSF, Inc. to support or enhance academic achievement?

The Teacher of the Year banquet, as noble as it is, was handled by DCSS committees up until recently. The old or new "foundation" was used only to receive and hold the money because DCSS couldn't. One would assume that all of the funds collected are spent on the event. This event's budget would be a large part of the $192,520.

At the end of the day, can all of the salaries, benefits, expenses and overhead costs being paid out of DCSS general funds be justified?

Anonymous said...

I have learned that transparency is the key to any organization, as there is just too much corruption, fraud, and friends helping friends at all costs.

Do your homework before you rant. All tax exempt foundations file a 990 with the IRS which is available to view on line that details all receipts and expenditures along with the salaries or costs of the foundation's efforts. You can find these at the Guidestar web site.

Anonymous said...

"Do your homework before you rant. All tax exempt foundations file a 990 with the IRS which is available to view on line that details all receipts and expenditures along with the salaries or costs of the foundation's efforts. You can find these at the Guidestar web site."

Thanks for the snarkiness, Anon 12:53. I did go to their Guidestar listing, and there is zero info. on their receipts, expenditures, and salaries.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the snarkiness, Anon 12:53. I did go to their Guidestar listing, and there is zero info. on their receipts, expenditures, and salaries.

Wrong-there are no salaries. They biggest expense under confrences is the teacher of the year dinner and this is also their biggest source of income (table sales. They paid 2500 for a certfied audit which would be available to viewon request. In additon to the dinner they also gave out just over 23,000 in grants. The 990 is 22 pages long. If you read it carefully and know how to read a tax form they is abundant information.

Anonymous said...

I always thought it would be useful & appropriate for DCSS to have@to file an annual 990 showing where our tax money goes & disclosing conflicts but its exempt...