Q: What is the purpose of the Foundation?
A: The purpose of the St. Joseph Public Schools Foundation is to raise, steward and distribute resources to enrich the education of the students in the St. Joseph Public Schools.
Q: Who is involved in directing the Foundation?
A: It is managed and directed by a group of private citizens, who are volunteers, representing many aspects of the area's business, cultural, and educational leadership.
Q: Are the SJPS Board of Education and Administration involved?
A: Yes. The superintendent and a representative of the Board of Education sit as permenant, ex-officio directors. However, the vast majority of the directors are not directly connected with the school district except as citizens invested and committed to the betterment of public education in the St. Joseph Public Schools.
Q: What types of things does the Foundation fund?
A: The directors have selected (5) primary areas of interest:
2. The Arts
3. General Scholastic Enrichment
4. Professional Development
5. Cultural Programming
Q: Are donations to the Foundation tax deductable?
A: Yes. The Foundation is a 501(c3) tax exempt organization.
Q: Who decides what projects and programs the Foundation will support?
A: The directors decide what is to be funded. Donors to the Foundation, however, may direct their contributions to specific areas with approval of the board. In addition, the Board of Education has the final legal say in accepting or rejecting any gift from the Foundation.
Q: How does the Foundation raise its funds?
A: Funds are raised from individuals, corporations, foundations, alumni, and other organizations committed to the success of the St. Joseph Public Schools.
Q: Are there any assurances that the Foundation will use its funds as intended?
A: The Foundation board has strict guidelines of the proper use of funds. They are invested in the five areas of focus.
Q: What assurances are there that the Foundation will no lose funds in risky investments?
A: All endowed funds are invested with the Berrien Community Foundation and their investment advisors.
Q: Will the Foundation spend all that it raises or will it save money for the future?
A: All funds donated to the endowed fund will be invested in the Berrien Community Foundation and only the annual growth of the fund will be spent. All non-endowed funds will be spent on the area of focus.
Q: Will teachers have a say in how the funds are spent?
A: All staff members and administrators of the St. Joseph Public Schools have input to the Project Committee of the Foundation. However, all funding decisions are made by the Foundation Board.
Q: Can the Foundation give funds to private schools or other organizations?
A: No. Under its state charter and federal exemption, the Foundation may only give funds to the St. Joseph Public Schools.
Q: Why do we need a St. Joseph Public Schools Foundation?
A: Foundations in support of public education are a growing phenomenon throughout the country. In Michigan, due to the financial problems of the state, school budgets are being reduced or at least not keeping pace with rising costs. As a result, school boards have been forced to eliminate many programs that encourage educational excellence.
Private resources can play an important role in maintaining existing and providing new opportunities for learning and teaching to offset these reductions.
Q: How can I get involved?