Yep. It happened. I found the letter on my kitchen table when I returned from the Education Writers Association conference last month.
The letter was from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS granted the Alabama School Connection (ASC) federal tax-exempt status! HOORAY!
Knowing that we can now actually offer folks a tax deduction when they contribute to the ASC is extremely satisfying.
Not to mention that this makes the ASC the only nonprofit news organization currently operating in Alabama (outside of National Public Radio affiliates and Alabama Public Television, of course) and the only news organization focusing exclusively on K-12 education coverage.
Nonprofit News Organization – Say What?
So what is a nonprofit news organization? It’s a fairly new model (at least in Alabama) of delivering educational material, a.k.a. news and information, to readers.
Being a single-subject news organization is still an experiment here in Alabama (notice how I keep saying “here in Alabama”?), but with the right amount of passion and funding, we know that the information shared through the ASC will expand the conversation and give Alabamians more information about our K-12 education system.
Given the dramatic decline in the number of reporters on the ground, those who are still reporting on K-12 education in Alabama are doing a tremendous job of covering the news.
But there is more than just news that needs to be shared with the people of Alabama.
Education reform hit Alabama like a lightning bolt a few years ago, and for now, the only thing we can count on where education is concerned is….change, change, and more change.
We are committed to documenting those changes, letting you know what to expect before the change comes…not just reporting on news after it happens.
We are committed to continuing to share the stories that fall between the sensational and the tragic.
We are committed to digging out the data and sharing it in a way that you can use in your discussions with your fellow community members, school board members and school officials.
All of the content produced on the ASC site is completely shareable (literally copy-and-paste it!) through a Creative Commons 4.0 license. All we ask is that you give the ASC credit for the information.
So If People Donate, Will They Control the Content Published on the ASC Site?
Donors have no influence on the topics covered nor the way in which those topics are covered.
We are committed to editorial independence and assure our readers that we will not be influenced by any of our donors.
All donors will be disclosed on the site on the Donor Page, updated not later than every calendar quarter.
If a donor donates less than $50, that donor can opt out of having his or her name published on the web site at the time the donation is made. We encourage all donors to share their name, as we believe the survival of the ASC will depend on community support that crosses all partisan and ideological lines.
This has so far been a volunteer effort, with whatever funds we’ve raised going straight toward operating expenditures (e.g., keeping the web site online and covering the costs of doing business).
Please Consider Making a Donation
If the information provided through the ASC has been helpful to you, please consider making a donation. The only way this experiment will actually work is if our readers support our coverage. Any and all amounts are appreciated.
You can donate through PayPal or send donations to:
Alabama School Connection
P.O. Box 360483
Hoover, AL 35236
A sincere thank you to all of our readers who continue to visit the ASC web site for current and reliable information about our schools.