FINANCIAL RECORDS: Charter School Foundation

Funding for the Des Moines Charter School next year is now a moot point, considering the Des Moines School Board has voted to close the school for a year.  But if it reopens, the Board has asked the Charter School Foundation, a non-profit supporting the Charter School, to bridge the gap in the Charter School budget.

The question is:  Does the Foundation have enough money.  After months of asking for financial records, we received a broad list of revenues, assetts and expenditures on Monday.

The records show the Foundation started with more than $267,000.  The majority of the money came from individual donors and grants from the Community Foundation Leadership Circles and Prarie Meadows.  The Community Foundation and Prarie Meadows each contributed $50,000.

Last year, the Foundation spent the majority of its money on student laptops, more than 50 of which disappeared when students failed to return them. 

About a year later, the Foundation has nearly $196,000 in the bank.  Again, most of the money came from the Community Foundation Leadership Circle and Prairie Meadows.  This year, the foundation spent more than $34,000 on professional services and nearly $23,000 on office equipment.

“If the school reopens for the next school year, which is the current plan, then the foundation is still going to have to play a role in order to make sure it meets its bottom line,” says Phil Roeder, the spokesperson for the Des Moines School District.

Roeder adds that it’s up to the Foundation leadership to determine how to raise additional funds, as the $195,000 currently in its coffers may fall short of the Charter School’s needs.

“That probably won’t be enough to carry it throughout the three year probationary period.”

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