Saturday, April 12, 2014
Is Step up for Students hoarding cash and short changing scholarships?
First you should know I am not a math guy or a tax guy. I am not an art teacher for no reason. Nor do I know the ends and outs of the requirements put on Step up for Students, Florida’s, seemingly shady, voucher delivery group. I however can read and know how to use a calculator.
From their 990, expenses, 207,753,225,
THIS PAST SCHOOL YEAR, 51,075 UNDERPRIVILEGED STUDENTS ATTENDED SCHOOL ON A STEP UP FOR STUDENTS SCHOLARSHIP
The scholarship is supposed to have a value of 4,880, but when you divide the small number into the big number you get 4067. Even is SUFS kept three percent, their fee for managing the vouchers, odd because I would think they would take the money off the top rather than off each scholarship, they should be paying about 4,730.
Okay maybe some scholarships are worth less though why a private school wouldn’t ask for the maximum they can get is beyond me.
Things get a little more troubling too, and remember I am not a math guy.
On line 18 it says their total expenses were 213,475,359, and that sounds about right, the scholarships, plus expenses, plus all the money they give to politicians to get more public money. But then on line 22 it says their end of the year assets or fund balances is 314,025,672. They started the year with 216,579,435, so after their state payments in and vouchers out that seems to fit.
I talked to a corporate tax guy and he emphasized several times he was not an expert on non-profits but said section X might be more relevant. X says that at the end of the year they were sitting on almost 38 million dollars in cash.
One more time, I am not a math guy and I don’t know the ends and out of voucher laws, but as a layman with a calculator it seems to me they are undercutting the amount they pay out in vouchers and they are sitting on a pretty big nest egg. Both of which (and the six figure salaries they give to many of the executives) seem to diminish their assertion that it is all about the kids., make that poor and minority kids as they ad nauseum point out.