Friday, July 12, 2019

You Be the Judge; Part 2.

     Well that didn't take long.  Though my numbers came from documentation provided by the Guilford County School System, Mark Jewell and Todd Warren in posts on the GCAE Facebook page have stated that my blog contained several "inaccuracies".  I have asked them both on the same post what the school system got wrong and offered to correct the "inaccurate" information.  I will be ever vigilant in looking for that response.  What do they seem to point to?  Well, a couple of things that should be documented and easily produced quite frankly.  Documentation removes suspicion; facts. 
     Mr. Jewell was interviewed by The Rhino Times regarding this same issue in 2017.  This is not the first time it has come up.  Mr. Jewell stated in last evening's post that this issue seems to "come up during times of political tension".  What is really "political" about the best interest of students and teachers?  Mr. Jewell then and now states that the "taxpayers are not" paying his salary and that GCS is being reimbursed by the organization for his salary.  He further indicates that he is not paying into his school retirement.  He reiterated that last evening.  So, I have some questions.
     Why are you still on Guilford County School's payroll if NCAE is paying them for your salary and you are not paying into state teacher retirement or receiving benefits?  Why doesn't NCAE just pay you directly?  It is clear that you are not returning to teaching in Guilford County and even if you decided to teach again, what benefit is remaining on the GCS payroll to you?  What benefit is it to GCS?  If there are benefits to either, what are they?  What are the benefits to the taxpayers?  What is the mystery? 
     Everyone reading this article can sign up for free to the website Guidestar.org.  On this site you can research any non-profit organization in the country.  NCAE and GCAE are both available as is the NEA (National Educator's Association).  The NEA is a union; organized labor.  NEA lists NCAE as an affiliate.  NCAE lists GCAE as an affiliate as well as affiliates in other counties in North Carolina.  Both the NCAE and NEA list "political lobbying" activities and expenditures on their 990 tax forms.  There seemed to be an assertion in the 2017 Rhino article that there was no affiliation or attachment.  I will let you decide.  On this site, you can access mandatory tax forms that must be filed and produced on request by any non-profit (irs.gov for the law).  You do not have to pay to view the most recent mandatory 990 tax form filings of these organizations.  Receipts and expenses are to be listed on these documents.  The most recent filings on this site are from the 2016 tax year and most have extended filings up through June 30th of the following year.  I am admittedly not an accountant.  However, by the numbers that are filed on these federal returns you can see itemized expenditures; like salaries of officers for instance.
     The NCAE reported on their 990 tax form for 2016 that Mark Jewell was paid the following compensation; 

Base salary                  $85,770.00
Other compensation      13,500.00
Retirement                     17,670.00
Non-taxable income        7,103.00

Total compensation     $124,043.00

Nowhere in this report did NCAE report expenditures or compensation to the Guilford County Schools.  As a reminder, Mark Jewell's salary as reported by GCS is $78,780.00 with a raise schedule of $100.00 a month beginning on July 1, 2018.  This report itemizes expenditures and grants to local county affiliates and school systems but none are designated as salary reimbursement.  Is the GCS salary included in the 990 form compensation numbers?  Is non-taxable income insurance perhaps?  Obviously NCAE is paying in to some retirement system on Mr. Jewell's behalf.  I was able to review and print 990 forms from the years 2014, 2015, and 2016.  Curiously, Mr. Jewell seems to be omitted from the 2015 form.  In 2014, he is listed as the Vice-President with compensation as itemized totaling $109,141.00.  
     I have been told that the NEA might be reimbursing the salaries for their state and local affiliates.  No such itemized items on their 990 tax forms indicate reimbursement for salaries though they do list grants paid to both NCAE and GCAE in the amounts of;

2014          GCAE      $25,800.00    State affiliate capacity building
2015          GCAE      $55,370.00    Strategic Plan grant
2016          NCAE      $10,000.00    Teacher of the Year grant

As you can imagine, the NEA 990 form is much longer and details expenditures to more states.  Nowhere in the 990 form did I find an expenditure for salary reimbursement.  I have directly requested to the NCAE via email for copies of their 2017 and 2018 990 tax forms.  I await their response.  

     These are the numbers as recorded on federal tax document forms 990 for the North Carolina Association of Educators for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016.  What do the numbers depict?  That Mark Jewell is receiving a salary and compensation for benefits from NCAE.  Does this form address or explain the information on salary from Guilford County Schools?  Does other documentation exist?  Cancelled checks?  Wire transfers?  Bank statements?
     Why does the Guilford County School System employ Mark Jewell?  The listed compensation on the 990 tax forms indicate salary, insurance and retirement.  Why is he being carried on GCS books AT ALL? 
     Mr. Warren seems to believe that folks are"accusing us of doing something criminal" because of my blog post.  I haven't mentioned any criminal violations and if I had I would certainly be qualified to express an opinion or make a case for it.  I do not believe I have stated such. 

     Solution?  After having visited this issue two years ago we are well past the time of simply taking someones word that reimbursement is occurring whether it be Mr. Jewell's, Mr. Warren's or the GCS Chief Financial Officer Angela Henry's.  Documentation removes suspicion.  Simply prove that the reimbursement is occurring.  This information should be public record.  Once this is proven through documentation, we can then have the discussion of why this arrangement exists in the first place.

Next:  The GCAE 990 forms.
          
         

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