Foundation Will Raise Money For Schools

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  JACKSON – The Jackson Education Foundation was formed last October borne out of the growing budgetary crisis the school district is facing.

  The state cut aid that the district has received for several years in a row, and more will be cut in the future. This has generated uncertainty over annual budget planning.

  In addition to aiding the fiscal needs of the district, the Foundation is designed to provide a forum for communication and volunteering on behalf of the educational interests in the district.

  “No Foundation can be built without pillars. They are the most important element of support that uphold a structure. The Jackson Education Foundation invites individuals and organizations passionate about advancing public K-12 education to become pillars of this foundation by contributing to this endeavor that will benefit the entire district and community,” said Tina Kas, president of the Education Foundation and Board of Education Vice President.

  The non-profit foundation will focus on preserving, protecting, and enhancing the educational opportunities of the Jackson Township Public School District.

  An Executive Board of Trustees governs the Foundation and their members serve a three-year term and a vote will be held to elect new trustees at that time. A representative of the Board of Education will be invited to sit as a permanent ex-officio trustee, without a vote, to ensure that the Foundation and the Board of Education work in harmony to protect the district’s best interests.

  The Foundation’s mission statement is to foster educational opportunities and creativity for students by providing additional funding for programs, grants, professional development opportunities for staff and student scholarships.

  They aim to do this by generating corporate and private financial support. The Foundation will provide programs and initiatives that contribute to student achievement and encourage volunteer involvement.

  Their primary funding will provide learning opportunities for students that extend the Board of Education adopted curriculum. It will also provide funds for teachers and administrators to pursue professional development experiences not otherwise available through the general budget or existing grants.

  The Education Foundation may also provide equipment, facilities and venture capital for creative ideas and programs. The foundation is a member of the New Jersey Education Foundation Partnership.

  Grant funding to the Foundation would go toward funds for teachers requesting specific programs and learning opportunities not funded through the normal budget process. These grants may be specific to one classroom or may fund projects involving multiple classrooms, departments, or entire schools.

  Grant applications will be limited to one cycle per school year and applications will be reviewed on a competitive basis and a limited number will be awarded each cycle.

  The Foundation will also be involved with scholarship funding and an annual scholarship will be provided to two seniors, one from each high school. Yearly scholarships will be awarded on a competitive essay basis.

  The Executive Board of Trustees is empowered to expand the primary funds at its discretion.

  The Foundation wishes to clarify the differences between the Parent Teacher Networks/Organizations (PTN/PTO) and the Education Foundation and the reason there needs to be two separate organizations to perform one job.

  The Education Foundation and PTN/PTO share a common goal – the betterment of our students’ education and both organizations are critical to our students’ academic success, but each has a separate focus, and they are governed differently, officials said.

  The PTN/PTOs provide an environment which invites parents and families to become involved in the education process. They fund extra-curricular activities such as family nights, field trips, special events, classroom supplies, teacher appreciation programs, and academic support programs.

  The Foundation’s goal is to raise the money necessary to provide students with an exceptional education and typically this translates to purchasing elements of education that the district and the state are unable to provide, be it technology, supplemental curriculum or valuable student services.

  One of the main differences between a PTN/PTO and a Foundation is the Foundations’ ability for long-range planning. The PTN/PTO budget may only focus on the current year’s needs. The Foundation can carry over funds from year to year which allows for saving for larger projects for more costly programs.

  There are also instances where the Foundation and PTN/PTO objectives overlap, and they can enter funding ventures jointly. These two organizations are governed differently however with respect to how they raise and spend money.

  PTN/PTO are organizations bound by strict by-laws which dictate how their funds get distributed for programs. Foundations, on the other hand, can pursue as much fundraising as necessary to achieve their stated goals.

  Funding decisions are guided by the Foundation Board, as representatives of the district with teacher and administrative input. Decisions can be made, or changed, as the Foundation sees fit.

  The Foundation stressed that both organizations need support from the community. For additional information about the Education Foundation, e-mail Kas at To make donations visit the official website at