A substantial financial gift from an anonymous Wawasee patron could literally benefit the Wawasee Community School Corp. for a period of 100 years.
During a special meeting of the Wawasee school board Tuesday in Syracuse, the board voted to approve the gift. A business is being sold into a limited partnership to include the Wawasee corporation and a percentage of the profits from the sale would flow to the school corporation annually for the next 100 years. David Cates, attorney for the school corporation, said it is his understanding the amount would be $10,000 or possibly more each year.
The donor requested proceeds be used to help Hispanic or other English language learners (also referred to as English as a second language), those children with drug and substance abuse issues and those from the poorest households. Mike Wilson, school board member, asked Dr. Tom Edington, superintendent, how the request would be specifically honored.
Edington noted there are programs already in place within the schools addressing those needs that are paid for out of the general fund. The financial gift would not only free up funds from the general fund, but would also allow for partnerships with the Bowen Center, churches and others to be started or expanded.
George Gilbert, board member, asked Cates if he had any concerns about approving the gift. Cates admitted he was at first concerned about tax liabilities for the school corporation, but after researching he found there would be no tax liabilities. He noted Wawasee can pull out of the partnership at anytime. “I see nothing prohibiting Wawasee from moving forward in this fashion,” he said.
The special meeting was held because the donor wanted to have things in place by the end of September.
Only one other item was on the agenda and that was a first reading to update the school board policy covering school sponsored publications and productions to include WRWT, the Wawasee High School radio station soon to be launched. There will be two more readings before the policy update is approved.