New Grand Traverse Academy Parent Organization Now Accepting Non-Tax Deductible Donations

Tuesday , 4, July 2017 1 Comment

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports a new parent organization to help for-profit charter school Grand Traverse Academy formed recently with the mission statement:

To establish and develop a closer connection between school and home by encouraging parental involvement, as well as grow and nurture a close relationship between parents, teachers, and students to support the achievement of excellence in character and academics while ensuring all students are safe, loved, and learning.

The last part of the above run-on sentence contains Dr. Steve Ingersoll’s old catchphrase about “safe, loved, and learning.”

It’s fine that parents want to be more involved with the school their children attend, there’s just one little problem with this new parent organization. They’re asking for donations from the public.

This statement makes it seem like the new family council with their weebly website have been around for years, when in fact they’ve only been active for a couple of weeks. The last part should be read with a great big CAVEAT.

All donations made in cash/check will be tax deductible!

Will be. As in not yet. Grand Traverse Academy Family Council currently has no record of:

  • An EIN.
  • Registry with the state of Michigan as a domestic nonprofit.
  • No filing with the state Attorney General’s Charitable Trust Section.
  • No Grand Traverse County DBA filing.
  • And most of all, no filing with the IRS for 501 (c) (3) status (Spoiler – this is the really important one!).

Is it illegal to accept donations from the public and businesses without these things? No, but the organization must disclose to the donors that their donations are NOT tax-deductible. Sorry, Grand Traverse Pie Company.

On July 3rd, days after the Record-Eagle article, someone finally pointed out to GTA Family Council there was one little problem with their cunning donation plan:

Most of the required filings and registrations with various government agencies to be an actual nonprofit organization don’t take long at all. However, the one that’s difficult and time consuming is the one that makes you an actual nonprofit organization – the 501(c)(3).

Good luck with that.

Spokesperson for the new group, Danielle Mulholland, says it best in this Record-Eagle quote:

“Everyone is facing budget cuts. Public schools in general are having a hard time. This is a way for parents to have some control over our kids and to help make up for where public funding might be lacking.”

Mulholland is right. Public schools are facing huge budget cuts, but keeping failing for-profit charter schools open does not help public schools in any way. Public funding is lacking because malignant tumors like for-profit charter school GTA continues to divert public school funds away from real public schools. If Mulholland and the rest of the parents of GTA want to help public education, they need to enroll their children into a real public school.

The public school districts in your community would appreciate having your children attend their schools. The increased funding would provide for hiring staff, buying books and supplies, and everything else our public schools struggle to provide with the increasing onslaught of for-profit “education” companies opening more schools and diverting more of our tax dollars into their private bank accounts.

Maybe the parents of GTA will read this and go to the meeting on July 10 with some important questions to ask this new parent council.

One thought on “ : New Grand Traverse Academy Parent Organization Now Accepting Non-Tax Deductible Donations”
  • Broken Heart says:

    It is evident you have many harsh feelings about our school, yes OUR school. It is ironic that you encourage GTA parents to move their children to a public school when you are a parent at GTA. According to your blog, ” If Mulholland and the rest of the parents of GTA want to help public education, they need to enroll their children into a real public school” (UpNorth, 2017). I am so sorry that you seem to have some sort of personal vendetta against GTA and whatever problem has gone unsolved for you seems to be your driving passion. GTA is not a perfect school and if you find a flawless school then I encourage you to send your child(ren) there and I mean that with all sincerity and not in jest. I am baffled as to why you continue take your child(ren) to a school that you feel is so inept. Our family chooses GTA for many great reasons and is a good choice for our family despite it’s shortcomings.
    The constant references to Smart Schools and Dr. Steve Ingersoll are truly annoying and unfounded. The parallel to verbiage in the GTA Family Council Mission Statement and Dr. Ingersoll’s “catch phrase” is ridiculous. There are only so many ways to state certain things and even plagiarizing software recognizes that. The verbiage is nothing incriminating and shows good intentions to care for our children so don’t turn it into something criminal. I knew GTA was a for-profit school when I enrolled my child(ren) and I don’t find that to be a big deal. It has not ever been a big secret. If you have a problem with how they spend the taxpayers money, be proactive instead of negatively reactive. You are obviously an intelligent person who has a lot to offer so why do you choose to constantly “stir the pot” without adding any healthy ingredients into the soup? Use your energy, passion and intelligence to the good and help promote change without being confrontational and digging a ditch that you want to push GTA into. Isn’t it possible to be positive and work together? If you feel you have exhausted all possibilities then by all means please move on and leave our school alone. If GTA was unable to meet the needs of my child(ren) the other pubic schools (GTA IS a public school regardless of the charter) would not be an option and would not receive my money. The private sector would be more likely or possibly home schooling. My child(ren) has benefited from small class sizes, devoted and caring teachers, have had limited distractions in the learning environment, have learned how to manage money, run a business, treat people fairly, benefited from uniforms in many ways, and can walk the halls without being subject to many behaviors that they would see in a different public school setting. So Darth Vader, are you ready to take off your mask? Face your peers at GTA? Move forward for the good or will you continue to slither in the depths of selfishness and self gratification by tearing down the walls of a school brick by brick and bury yourself with it? Rise above there is grace and forgiveness on the other side.

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