November 12, 2018
PTO (parent and staff) VOTING OUTCOME
YES 94 votes. NO 4 votes. Based on today's vote, the Braelinn PTO will move forward to retain an attorney. PTO updates will be included in every Friday at 5:00 email.
October 30, 2018
To The Parents and Faculty of Braelinn Elementary,
The PTO will be having a meeting on November 5th at 9:30 am to present a proposal to spend $10,000 to retain an attorney to solve the legal issues we are faced with as a result of the tax situation disclosed at the first PTO meeting of the year. We will present the proposal and answer any questions at the Nov 5th meeting. We will hold a vote on the proposal on Nov 12th.
How will the $10,000 be spent?
We will be retaining BOMAR LAW FIRM, LLC. This firm was recommended to us and specializes in tax law, tax debt relief and non-profit law. Their website is https://www.bomarlawfirm.com. We encourage everyone to read about the firm and we are confident they will impress you as they did the PTO Executive Board.
The agreement with Bomar Law Firm will be for a length of 9 months which the attorney felt was more than enough to solve all of our issues. This firm will file all of our past taxes and seek retroactive reinstatement of our 501(c)(3) status. They will offer legal defense for any back taxes or fines the IRS may seek to levy. After resolution of the 501(c)(3) they will assist us in incorporating the Braelinn PTO and assist in producing by-laws that will put us on sound legal footings. Upon completion of our contract with Bomar Law Firm the PTO will be incorporated, in good 501(c)(3) status with the IRS and have strong guiding documents that should help avoid the pitfalls we have fallen into the past few years.
Where will the money come from?
Currently the PTO budget does not have $10,000 in the legal fund to cover the legal expenses. We will, unfortunately be forced to take money from other budget line items to cover this expense. This is a summary of where the money will come from:
Ms. Couch feels this issue is so important she has said any programs this line
item would have covered will be covered other ways. It is her direct request
that this money come from School Improvements.
Leader in Me……………………………………$1250
This item was over-budgeted. The expenses for training of new staff did not
come to the full amount budgeted. This is a budget surplus.
There are currently no plans for this budget item and we feel there would be
no loss to the school, kids or families of Braelinn if the entirety of this line item
went to the legal fund.
Because of the required PTO shutdown the necessary repairs to the playground
have been undertaken by the school. There are no more critical maintenance
issues that can’t wait until resolution of the legal issues and resumption of
Cheryl Rosenberger and her committee of dedicated parents recently held a Staff
Appreciation luncheon that did not use any PTO funds. We feel that we can rely
on parents to ensure this much appreciated program doesn’t falter due to reduced funds..
While these cuts hurt please know that you are part of an amazing school and community and our sponsors have generously given money that will keep these programs fully functional. Our Platinum Sponsors are: All South Landscapes, Freedom Allergy, Gwinnett Place Ford, Dental Traditions, Payton Peoples, Denise Wilhelm Berkshire Hathaway, Peachtree Pediatric Dentistry. Please support them as they support us!
We know you have many questions……we have the same questions. When will the PTO begin to operate again? When can fundraising and school functions be started? The simple answer is that we do not know…yet. We feel confident we have found the best legal counsel for the PTO and we will be guided by their direction. We will, as always, strive to keep you informed as the process unfolds. Step one, for now, is to retain the attorney and a majority vote on Nov 12th in favor of the proposal that will be presented on November 5th will allow us to move forward.
Every Braelinn parent and faculty member is eligible (and encouraged) to vote on November 12th. Faculty voting will be 6:30am-8:00am in the front office and Parent voting will be in the cafeteria from 9:00am-10:00am.
Christine, Jackie, Cameron, Rachel, Heather, Andree, Kristen, Jenni
The PTO Executive Board
Agenda for November 5th meeting:
Braelinn PTO Meeting
November 5, 2018
9:30 – 10:30 am
Order of Business
1. Call to Order
2. New Business – The PTO will present a proposal to retain an attorney to solve the legal issues we are faced with as a result of the tax situation disclosed at the first PTO meeting of the year.
3. Q&A Session - Following the presentation, we will open it up for questions.
4. Next Special Meeting: November 12 – Vote to retain the attorney to move forward with resolving the tax situation.
From Mrs. Couch's Friday at Five
October 5, 2018
As most of you know, the Braelinn PTO is working to reinstate their tax-exempt status and working to revise their bylaws to ensure organizational compliance. After consulting with the Fayette County Schools Executive Cabinet, and in an effort to build bridges within our community, we will step back and allow objective professionals time to guide the PTO forward. At this time, until financial and legal counsel can provide assurance that the PTO is in good-standing, all PTO spending and operations, aside from their work to gain compliance, have been placed on hold. The PTO Staff Appreciation Luncheon scheduled for October 18 will be handled at the school level. The PTO Movie Night scheduled for October 19 will be rescheduled for a later date.
Thank you to the many parents and community members who have provided guidance and support during this process. As your principal, I will work closely with the PTO Executive Board and their legal/financial counsel to provide you with weekly updates. In the meantime, all PTO questions, concerns, and feedback can be provided in writing in a sealed envelope addressed to Jennifer Couch. I can assure you that your children remain my number one priority, and that I am fully committed to our work together. I will schedule multiple October working sessions for us to look at student data, discuss our school-wide reading, writing, and math initiatives, and to just get to know each other.
In March 2018 it came to the Braelinn Elementary Executive Board that Braelinn Elementary PTO's tax exempt status was no longer current secondary to returns, although completed, not being filed. As a 501c3 organization reports are required to be filed yearly. Money is not owed yearly, just the documentation of our income and expenses. We are diligently working on reinstating our status which involves refiling several years of back returns. We will update you on our progress with the IRS. We anticipate reinstatement in 6 months. Thanks for your understanding with this matter.
As of the September 20, 2018 PTO meeting, the following statement was voted to be amended into the 2015 bylaws:
"Upon the dissolution of this organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose."