AISD Won’t Control Private Donations
The Austin school district says it will not implement a so-called “tithing” policy to redistribute private donations from schools in wealthier neighborhoods to those in low-income neighborhoods. The recommendation was contained in a report by the Texas Civil Rights Project that criticized student funding inequities across the district. But school district chief financial officer Nicole Conley Abram says AISD doesn’t have the legal authority to do that.
“Those monies are in many cases collected by independent 501(c)(3) corporations, and that is beyond what we can direct and control,” Abram said. “But the monies that we can direct and control, meaning our state-local tax levy dollars, we can certainly look at better ways to find equity across the system.”
Jim Harrington is director of the Texas Civil Rights Project.
“It is absolutely true that they don’t have legal control over the 501(c)(3), but they can say if the 501(c)(3) is going to function in this way,” Harrington said. “All you have to do is go to the eastside schools and the westside schools, and you can see visibly the inequity.”