That situation was criticized in the recently released Joplin R-8 state audit:
The district provided an office in its administration building to Bright Futures USA, a separate not-for-profit entity, without a written agreement and without charge.
That situation, however, was not noted in Bright Futures USA's 2014 Form 990 filed in February with the Internal Revenue Service.
The tax form, signed under penalty of perjury by Bright Futures Chairman and Joplin R-8 Board of Education candidate Nancy Good, who has been treasurer of Bright Futures USA since its creation, not only affirms that the organization had no such deal in the period covered by the return (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014), but also for the entire time it has existed.
In the public support section of the tax form, the not-for-profit is required to reveal any income it has received from governmental units. In the area that reads "the value of services or facilities furnished by a governmental unit to the organization without charge," a 0 is placed under the dollar amount.
The document also says that Superintendent C. J. Huff, who made frequent visits to other communities for the not-for-profit and has spoken about Bright Futures USA on a regular basis, only spends an average of five hours a week working for it.
Kim Vann, who was also serving in a full-time job with the school district during the time covered by the document, worked 20 hours per week and was paid $27,692.
After an 18-month period in which Bright Futures USA spent $140,577 more than it took in and spent more money for salaries than it received in contributions, the organization's financial picture looked brighter in the most recent tax document and it appears that most of that has come courtesy of the taxpayers.
For the first time, Bright Futures USA listed lobbying expenses, saying that staff members visited Jefferson City to talk to legislators about providing funding for the organization. Vann apparently took a day off from her Joplin R-8 duties for the junket. Though only $137 was spent, listed under travel, for the lobbying, during the past two years, the Missouri State Legislature has appropriated a quarter of a million dollars for BF, $100,000 in 2013 and $150,000 in 2014, though the 2014 appropriation was later cut by Gov. Jay Nixon.
The most recent budget passed by the Missouri House shows another $150,000 allocation for Bright Futures USA.
It is a good thing the taxpayers are coming through for BF because the fundraising activities from 2014 with Vann as executive director and Good as chairman did not fare as well.
The 990 form shows two major fundraisers, a golf tournament and a clay shooting competition, which ended up $4,409 in the red.
Bright Futures USA's revenue for the year covered on the form was $280,594, with $198,061 listed for expenses.
Among those listed on the Bright Futures USA Board of Directors are Good, Jerrod Hogan, one of the leaders of the Joplin Progress Committee, Bo Lee, treasurer for Good's campaign, lobbyist Gary Burton, contractor Bennie Crossland, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce President Rob O'Brian, Vann, and Huff, and a recent addition, Melissa Randol, the incoming president of the Missouri School Boards Association, the entity which advises all Missouri school boards on matters such as ethical improprieties.