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Foundation letter has it wrong

April 11, 2012

Jim Stoker's April 1 letter to the editor regarding the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation was a hodgepodge of baseless allegations and flat out untruths that illustrate the old maxim, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Stoker is wrong when he alleges our school district cannot ask community members to donate to the foundation. The law absolutely permits this. At the risk of restating the obvious, donations to the LCFEF are entirely voluntary. That's while we call them “donations.”

Stoker alleges the LCFEF is “too involved in the politics of the district.” Nonsense. The LCFEF does not endorse candidates for the school board, and a recent board member resigned her position with the LCFEF once she was elected to the LCUSD board.

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Stoker accuses the LCFEF of “too little financial transparency.” He is wrong. The foundation's annual audit and Form 990 are made public each year.

Stoker then questions why LCFEF gifts to the district are round numbers, and why we hold money in “assets.”

The foundation supplements the annual fund each year with very small amounts from reserves in order to get to round numbers and provide the community with easy-to-publicize numbers. The millions to which Stoker refers are not reserves but the Foundation Endowment. The endowment is required to grow those donations over the long haul, and they have done so to the great benefit of our school district. Each year, the endowment makes a six-figure gift to the district.

Lastly, Stoker wonders “what business does LCFEF have running a summer school at LCHS?” The popular, effective and legal summer school program is the business of positive volunteers who choose to create something of value for the community, and we are rightfully quite proud of it.

Craig Mazin

La Cañada

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