The Association of Wisconsin School Administrators has joined the ranks of those groups that are setting up charitable foundations for the purposes of decreasing costs and expanding their capacity to raise funds for their activities.
By creating the Wisconsin Foundation for Educational Administration, says Thomas R. Grogan, legal counsel to the group, the administrators gain the money-saving advantage of nonprofit mailing status and the ability to raise tax-deductible support from private sources and to seek government grants. The association, which will continue its separate membership and lobbying activities, is classified as a trade association under the federal tax code.
The new foundation, according to Mr. Grogan, is modeled on that established by California administrators for similar reasons. He noted that Wisconsin's state department of education recently established a foundation to accept gifts in support of its teacher and administrator awards programs, and said the state superintendents' group, which shares space with the administrators, is considering a similar move.
Mr. Grogan terms it "relatively easy" to set up a foundation and points that foundation status is retroactive to the date an application is filed with the Internal Revenue Service, though approval may take months. He recommends that groups thinking about such a move seek materials and advice from the American Society of Association Executives, 1575 Eye St. N.W., Washington, D.C. He also suggests they read a book called Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations by Bruce R. Hopkins, a Washington-based lawyer who is considered an expert on the subject.
The National Education Association, suggesting that "the problems of school finance have reached a crisis point," is expanding its research division to encompass what it calls "impact studies not available from any other source." The group has appointed Will S. Myers, formerly the executive director of a Presidential advisory panel on financing education, to manage the new research program. His first mission, said Willard McGuire, nea's president, will be to "track the Reagan Administration's attempts to 'privatize' public education with vouchers and other schemes."
The Council for American Private Education is moving ahead with several projects that will result in information of interest to private-school leaders.
With support from the U.S. Education Department, the organization has completed the design for a research project on the experience of minority students in private schools. It has also developed a questionnaire in collaboration with the National Center for Education Statistics that will be used to expand the annual base of information about private schools.
In response to a growing number of inquiries about accreditation practices of private schools, cape is also gathering information about how its member schools conduct self-evaluations.--mm