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Faith-Based Activities are actions done according to the religious affiliations’ ideologies. In the United States, these organizations are spread in almost every state. A good example of the non-governmental organizations includes the Elizabeth Public Schools, New Jersey. A major challenge related to the activity of this entity is the issue of handling funds and the national government's involvement in the running of the organization. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the positions of these groups in the society.
Original Purpose of Faith-Based Organizations
The primary objectives for the creation of Faith-Based Organizations were directed towards conducting humanitarian work and helping the marginalized or needy in the society. According to the plan, the framework was determined to amass social capital and enhance the transfer of these funds towards various social projects and disasters, including drought, floods, war and other challenges affecting the society. Their role as humanitarian groups is to ensure that the societal issues are properly handled (Ferris 313-315).
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One of the objectives reached includes the creation of extra social capital directed towards faith-based views. Social funds tied people together because they were united by the idea of helping the public. As a result, the community came together and realized that the tragedies associated with the society can be handled (Ferris 313-315).
However, consequently, faith-based organizations did not focus on faith but rather social problems affecting the community. As a result of their activity, many schools, hospitals, and other institutions have been created. Some of the county schools are run through payment of taxes, donations, and other humanitarian approaches. However, it is also believed that donations should be voluntary as problems facing the society are of concern to everyone (Ferris 313-315).
Stance on Foundation Principles
The major foundation principles of these organizations include the idea that the society has many crucial aspects such as education system and ealth services that require particular attention. Moreover, entities based on non-for-profit approach should be handled through donations and charity work. It is also believed that togetherness unites the whole community to achieve progress and ensure development. However, there are cases that the mission of the discussed organizations has shifted from the public focus to own misappropriation. Unfortunately, some persons take advantage of the donations and decide to spend the money in a wrong way.
One of the organizations that has been involved in the scandals of misappropriation of funds is Elizabeth Public Schools Board. The institution's Board of Education has over the recent past been involved in issues of mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. It made a transaction worth 499 Million US dollars, which was claimed to be a school budget for 2016 (Lannan). The budget released was a huge figure especially as it was meant for expenditures. From the calculations, it signifies that the current budget has 10.6 percent generated from local taxes while the next academic year will see the amount rising to 11.9 percent (Lannan). This small percentage increase represents a total of 7.5 million US dollars, an issue that raises numerous concerns among taxpayers (Lannan).
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Questions were therefore raised by few of the board members who rejected the proposal. According to the chairperson of the board, the defense of the issue was that the management had allocated funds for hiring 36 new teachers in the coming year that is a necessary plan since there is a growth in the number of students through enrollment (Lannan). Among the 36 teaching staff members, twenty-four would be bilingual while four would be for mathematics. Three of them will teach English, two will teach social studies whereas one will be for science (Lannan). The management institution projects that the enrollment next year will be about 1,154 students, which is more than this year, standing at 926 (Lannan).
Another non-ethical issue witnessed is the extortion of funds from the teachers and other individuals (Sherman). There were concerns raised by the teachers as they felt that they were psychologically forced into making contributions through mails sent to them. According to Galllante, a former teaching staff, the board continually pestered her through political mailings that they required cash, making her a worried regarding the issue (Sherman).
The board went further and organized dinners, testimonials, and other social events in a bid to collect funds by selling tickets (Sherman). What is more controversial in this situation is that the payroll prepared by the board included a list of friends and relatives of the commission members. There were accusations that the collected funds were meant for campaigns that were marred with favors, nepotism and patronage (Sherman). With all these problems at stake, the board was under investigation to answer the allegations. Also, the board still made payments to the people who would speak out regarding their evil schemes (Sherman).
Currency Movement from the Federal Government to State Offices
Faith-based organizations receive federal government disbursements just like the other government agencies. This money comes from the tax reserves, and the federal government monitors its distribution. Every budget year, the Treasury sets aside cash to be used as grants. Out of this amount is where charity organizations and faith-based institutions obtain their funding. This support gives the government supervisory and audit powers over these organizations.
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The funding is tied to initiatives and objectives that are for the public good. These funds are channeled through to state offices with specific instructions regarding these funds. A committee that oversees the whole transaction and confirms that the money is directed to the right plans is in place. However, even under these conditions, some institutions such as the Elizabeth Public School do not meet these requirements.
Distribution of Funds
From the financial statements issued by the board, a huge amount of cash is retrieved from the state government. These funds are distributed by the state government to the faith-based offices. The funds are distributed according to the needs of the supported institutions. The recipients of funding are organizations with clear goals and mission that benefit the community around.
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