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Bright Futures Joplin asks school board to change management of - KOAM TV 7

Bright Futures Joplin asks school board to change management of its funds

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

The Joplin School Board raises questions on how to manage Bright Futures Joplin money.

Thanks to Bright Futures Joplin, some students receive supplies for school they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. But the Joplin School Board has to decide how to manage its funds which are currently a part of the school district's budget.

“The benefits of keeping it here, of course, it stays in the system and we don't have to go through the legal discussions and things like that and basically the advisory board continues,” says Superintendent Norm Ridder.

Officials with Bright Futures Joplin recently asked the school board to separate the 2 budgets. They think that having the Community Foundation of the Ozarks oversee the money would allow for greater transparency.

“I think they're going to be more successful when they're a standalone 501c3 working with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks,” continues Ridder.

Bright Futures Joplin started in 2010 and supplies children with jackets, gloves, shoes and supplies that their family can't afford. The success led to the creation of Bright Futures USA, a completely separate affiliation.  There are 37 different bright futures communities nationwide.

“We have the opportunity to support each of those affiliate communities and we help to connect them with technology, with training, different kinds of best practices that are shared across the board in that network of other schools in different states,” says Steve Patterson with Bright Futures USA.

Bright Futures USA and the affiliates are funded separately.

“They can meet the needs with the resources that are in their own communities and we try not to compete with those communities by raising funds in their areas. Therefore we try to do things nationally,” says Patterson.

Regardless of what organization manages the funds, Joplin students will continue to benefit from bright futures services. Officials say they hope to make a decision at the November board meeting.

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