Take Back Our Schools-GCS, which has endorsed a slate of four Republican candidates for the Guilford County Board of Education, has raised the ire of the leadership of the Guilford County Board of Education.
Take Back Our Schools endorsed At-large candidate Demetria Carter, District 2 candidate Crissy Pratt, District 4 candidate District 4 Guilford County Board of Education member Linda Welborn and District 6 candidate Tim Andrew.
The four Republican candidates are running for the school board as The New Vision, New Direction team.
As a result of those endorsements and other campaign activity by Take Back Our Schools-GCS, Chair of the Guilford County Board of Education Deena Hayes and Vice Chair Winston McGregor signed a letter sent to the chairman of the North Carolina Board of Elections “to request an immediate investigation into the activities of an organization called Take Back Our Schools (TBOS) that filed with the Secretary of State’s office in August 2021 as a 501c(3) charitable organization.”
The letter also states, “We call on you to act immediately with all appropriate authority to end their illegal activities.”
Take Back Our Schools-GCS is, however, not a 501c(3). According to documentation provided to the Rhino Times, Take Back Our Schools-GCS files with the IRS as a 501c(4) which is permitted to participate in political activities as long as those activities do not account for more than 49 percent of its budget.
Whether an organization is a 501c(3) or 501c(4) is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) designation. Contributions to a 501c(3) are tax deductible and contributions to a 501c(4) are not, and 501c(3) organizations are not allowed to participate in political activity. But since Take Back Our Schools-GCS is a 501c(4) that prohibition does not apply.
Gene Parker, Take Back Our Schools-GCS treasurer, stated that he simply checked the wrong box on the filing with the North Carolina secretary of state, but since the 501c(3) or 501c(4) designation was federal and not state, checking the wrong box had no effect on the IRS designation of the organization.
The North Carolina Board of Elections has no authority over federal tax filing status.
Hayes, who is on the ballot as “Deena Hayes-Green,” is running unopposed for reelection as the District 8 Guilford County Board of Education member. McGregor is not running for reelection.