ED Magedson – Founder
Academy for Autism Inc.5232 S Orange Afenue Orlando, Florida USA
Academy for Autism Inc. Tuition disguised as Donations and now called MANDATORY DONATIONS Orlando Florida
The Academy for Autism Inc is a Non-Profit school for children with autism. On Saturday, August 17th, I attended a mandatory parent meeting that the school administration determined was required for all parents with students that would be attending the 2013-2014 school year.
I anticipated that this meeting would be to discuss how this year was going to go, and provide updates on the school. Instead this meeting became a shake-down of the parents for funds. This is a school that doesn’t have tuition, and I have been told on more than one occasion that they are the only autism school in the area that doesn’t ask you to pay tuition, but only takes the McKay Scholarship for payment, and asks parents to try and donate money and raise funds for the school.
When I asked during the meeting, why the school isn’t trying to raise funds through grants if they are in such desperate need of additional funds, I was advised that it would not look good for the school to open up their books for scrutiny for a federal grant. When I probed further, I was told, how would it look if they had so many parents who aren’t paying their tuition? When I asked about grants that can be obtained from other non-profits that support autism and autism related schools, I was told they had no time to try to obtain these grants, although I and others on many occasions have advised the director that we would provide our assistance in applying for grants.
The meeting deteriorated very quickly where we were yelled at like children about how the school needs money and that we HAVE to pay the school mandatory donations of $150 a month. We were advised that this wasn’t called tuition, to HELP the parents as they can then write it off on our personal tax returns.
This meeting raised many red flags for me, including the fear of opening a non-profit organizations financial books to federal scrutiny, and telling parents to lie about the tuition/mandatory donation on their tax returns. I am now being hounded by this school for the mandatory donation they say I owe them for the time my son was a student at their school.
They are not telling parents the truth up front or advising them that tuition can also be listed on their tax returns. I was advised when my son originally enrolled that they had NO tuition, to find out a year and a half later, they are going to try to come after me for what appears to be an illegal ‘mandatory donation’ and are threatening me with a collection agency.
I’ve consulted an attorney and have been advised that a school may be involved in conspiracy to evade taxes if it tries to call required payments from families as donations. I’m very concerned that other parents are not going to do their own research and will also be paying the school when they were initially advised there was no tuition as well.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/07/2014 07:20 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/academy-for-autism-inc/orlando-florida-32809/academy-for-autism-inc-tuition-disguised-as-donations-and-now-called-mandatory-donations-1113525. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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