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Church and church school funds commingled. What can parents do?

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Church and church school funds commingled. What can parents do?

We have sent our child to ABC Christian school. At the beginning of the year, the "President" of the school board told us that the host XYZ church which contributed funds to the school would be reducing its contribution 20% per year and that we (THE ABC SCHOOL) had to stand on our own two feet within the next several years. As a result, parents doubled their charitable donations and many of us gave thousands in goods, cash and services way beyond the tuition payment. The school hosts an annual big fund raiser and at the conclusion of the fund raiser, the hosting xyz church board closes down the school and keeps the money. On investigating the status of the school which was advertised as being separate from the church as in its own 501(c)(3) with its own board of directors, we find out that such is not the case. The school as such never existed but was actually part of the church. What can we do?

It is not usual for a church to run a school as part of its program and not a separate entity. Nevertheless, you may have a claim which would be of interest to the Attorney General if the church solicited funds for the school and did not use it for the proper purposes. It is a long shot, but may be worth trying.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

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