Alliance for Education
School Based Accounts FAQ
Why did the Board vote to restructure the district partnership with the Alliance for Education?
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and the Alliance have been partners for 20 years. However, increasingly over time SPS and the Alliance could not agree on alignment of funding priorities, and tone of the partnership. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two parties expired March 31, 2015.
Does this mean the district and the Alliance will not work together in the future?
No. The two entities may work together on future educational initiatives, such as the Seattle Teacher Residency, but the structure of the relationship would look different than is currently does.
What happens now?
The Board action directs Superintendent Nyland to dissolve the relationship, which means SPS will not sit on the Alliance board or participate in Alliance events, and the Alliance will not be allowed to use the SPS name or logo in fundraising, sponsorship or any other activities without written permission from SPS.
This also means the Alliance will need to transfer any district collected endowments and ASB funds back to the district.
The Alliance will continue to manage the school-based (PTSA or booster club) accounts through the end of the school year, June 30, 2016.
What does this mean for existing school booster club and PTSA accounts at the AFE?
The Alliance has provided high quality non-profit bookkeeping services to hundreds of Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTSA) and school booster clubs every year. In the past, the district paid the Alliance a fee to manage these school based accounts.
Over the past year, it came to the district’s attention that paying fees to a non-district school account at the Alliance may be a violation of the gift of public fund doctrine. So, the district has provided notice to the Alliance and Greater Seattle PSTA Council that it must stop paying the 7.5 percent bookkeeping services cost at the end of this school year, which June 30, 2016.
The Alliance will be researching the best way to support school-based accounts going forward if PTSAs and booster clubs want to keep their accounts with the Alliance.
Specifically, what services does the Alliance provide to schools?
The typical services the Alliance provides to PTSAs and booster clubs are those types of services which require financial expertise and experience.
For many, the Alliance helps maintain the fiscal management of IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit status of individual PTSAs and booster clubs.
- Support direct foundation, booster club and PSTA school accounts for various donation methods such as check, credit card, on-line gifts, stock and in-kind and the respective receipts for donors information, tax and regulatory compliance and general funding;
- Provided support for matching gifts, recurring gifts, pledges and installment payments;
- Provide detailed reports on account activities to district officials and district employee school account advisors;
- Provide accounts payable services on behalf of foundation, PTSA and booster school accounts;
- Give consultation, guidance and advice related to federal, state and local taxing and regulatory agencies and effective fundraising appeals, events and administration.
Are there alternatives to the Alliance services?
The Alliance has provided very efficient non-profit bookkeeping services to many SPS’ PTSA and booster clubs in the past. Many booster clubs and PSTAs in the district and across the state handle booking responsibilities internally through a club treasurer and/or partner with local banks.
Accounting Services can help answer your questions at ASB@seattleschools.org
The Alliance will be charging my school or booster club account a 7.5 percent fee, and our group cannot afford this.The Alliance’s current 7.5 percent fee to SPS is not a charge to the account balance, but on the account’s average annual revenues and expenses.
Currently, the district will pay this fee for remainder of this school year. After June 30, the Alliance will be assessing how it supports these accounts going forward.
Can my school get help transferring our school-based account funds from the Alliance?
Yes. Simply notify Accounting Services at ASB@seattleschools.org of the type of account and account balance and we will work with the Alliance to help resolve the matter.
I have questions about our school account but I’m not sure who to call?
SPS Accounting Services Analyst Erma Hill at 252-0272 can help answer your questions.
The Alliance for Education may also be able to answer your questions as well at 343-0449.