Plainview ISD considers starting education foundation

Plainview ISD is testing the waters to create an education foundation.

During a more than three-hour-long school board meeting Thursday night, Gary Zacher and Mike Melcher explained the steps to the board.

Zacher, director of annual giving for Wayland Baptist University, and Melcher, senior major gifts officer for WBU, noted the foundation will take time (about 18 months) to build before the district will really start feeling the benefits. It’ll require legal vetting, setup of a board to oversee it and donations, which will be its bread and butter.

Plainview ISD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez said the PISD Education Foundation would be a not-for-profit organization reliant on private funding, like donations. It could provide funding for classroom projects through teacher grants, student scholarships, charitable projects and maybe field trips, among other things. It’s essentially a philanthropic endeavor that could eliminate the need for so many school fundraisers.

There are districts of similar size, like Shallowater or Canyon, that have their own education foundations.

Sanchez noted that some of the previous districts he’s worked in had education foundations.

“They were very successful,” he said. “They did a lot of good.”

The idea for the endowment is still in its early planning phases, Sanchez said.

“I’ll visit with the board (members) individually and talk about our next steps,” he said.

It was presented as an informational item on Thursday so no actions were taken, though the board did have an opportunity to ask Zacher and Melcher some questions. If the project moves forward, Zacher and Melcher, on behalf of the university’s Foundation, would be consultants.

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