How are finances handled at your school?

Discussion in 'Private School Teachers' started by jlj, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Sep 8, 2012

    At ours the church and school have always (50 years now!) had separate bank accounts, each handling their own finances. The ONLY thing the church does for the school is allow use of the facilities. The school pays 70% of all utilities, own insurance, own maintenance to a/c units, playground,everything. There is absolutely no monetary support of the school from the church. The school operates dependent on tuition and donations, period.
    The church has gone thru some trying times and lost most of it's members. The new "pastor" (part of the family that ran every one off) has now decided the church should have complete control of all finances and all to be in one bank account. Well needless to say with so few people in the church they can't meet their bills and are desperate for money. They see dollar signs. Thing is the school's enrollment is lower than budget was set for so things are extremely tight, there's not enough to go around as is and we're having to cut corners as much as possible. There's certainly no extra to support the church! And they ALL know that! The "pastor" sits in on sch bd meetings, he sees the financial reports. The sch dir. has called other private schools similar in size to ours and they say they've never heard of such a thing. They have separate accounts. This guy says he's researched (mostly very large churches) and say they do and so that's how it's to be. Oh, another suggestion he had was to have the school start paying rent to the church. REALLY????
    My questions - what size church and school are you in? Do they have separate accounts? Do each have their own book keeper? Any suggestions as to what we could do legally? We have no money for attorney but would really like to see if there is a way to legally separate before he totally runs the school in the ground like he has the church and we end up closing.
    Anyone know Christian attorneys willing to work pro bono? I know there are some that have done that. We really need some good objective Christian legal advise and need it ASAP.
    Please pray for us :help: Thanks!
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Sep 8, 2012

    Wow, I have no advice but what a rotten and sad situation. :(
     
  4. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Sep 8, 2012

    I believe our Catholic School is supported partially by the Parish in addition to tuition and fundraising so I can't be much help. If the Pastor is the Head of the School (meaning the Principal reports to him) I'm not sure there is anything you can do. If they want to charge rent for their building they can likely do that as well unless there is a signed agreement sitting in a drawer somewhere stating you have free use of the building etc.
     
  5. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    Sep 19, 2012

    I am pretty sure that our finances are handles seperately but they are overseen by the pastor of the church. Our school and church has a very healthy relationship and we are a pretty big, growing church.
     
  6. pvcpa

    pvcpa Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2012

    In most cases when a school is located within a church the church is the ultimate authority. Many times separate accounts are kept but since the church "owns" the school they do what they want absent an agreement stating otherwise. I have seen MANY times where a church in desperate times has pulled a well-ran school down with them.

    My situation is much different as I choose to separate the school from the church and while the pastor my sit on the board, we are ran by a board.

    I think your first stop would be the IRS, see if the school has separate tax-exempt status from the church (I doubt it does). Then your state's educational authority, if you have one that regulates private schools, and check on the ownership status of the school. Unfortunately if you are in CA the state plays no part.

    It is a sad situation. As for pro-bono attorneys, they are becoming few and far between.
     

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