Adelante Now Foundation was incorporated in May 2001 as a New Mexico nonprofit corporation. It was formed to operate exclusively for educational, charitable and scientific purposes. In January 2003 the foundation received a determination from the IRS that the foundation was exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code as an organization described in section 501 (c) (3). The January 2003 IRS communication to the foundation included these statements:
“Because you are a newly created organization, we are not now making a final determination of your foundation status under section 509(a)(1) of the Code. However, we have determined that you can reasonably expect to be a publicly supported organization described in sections 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi).
Accordingly, during an advance ruling period you will be treated as a publicly supported organization, and not as a private foundation. This advance ruling period begins and ends on the dates shown above. [Ending date, December 31, 2005]”
EDUCATIONAL TUTORING ACTIVITIES OF FOUNDATION – 2001-2012
During the school year of 2001-2002 Adelante Now Foundation joined the DAY Foundation in bringing to Valencia County, New Mexico a tutoring program for elementary school children. The DAY Foundation’s Jocelyn Allen devised and supervised the program, and Adelante Now funded it in Valencia County. One of the tutoring program’s key to success was its simplicity. Teachers were paid to select five or six of their elementary school students who were one to two years below grade level in math or reading skills, and then to tutor them during the school year in two sessions weekly before or after the school day. In order to judge progress of the students, standardized tests, of the teacher’s choosing, were given to each student at the beginning and end of the school year.
The tutoring program was initiated in the Henry Jaramillo Elementary School in Belen, which then was a “failing” school. Because of the efforts of a wonderful new principal, Julie Benavides, together with committed teachers, the school results improved as did the school’s rankings.
The tutoring program had expanded into four elementary schools by the beginning of 2009. That year the Belen Board of Education took the unusual step of giving an award to a private foundation — Adelante Now Foundation. Through the school system’s superintendent the board commented that Adelante had “given the district more than $100,000 over the last eight years so that students could receive after-school tutoring by their teachers. About 600 students have been helped over the years, [Superintendent] Rael said.”
By 2011 the program had been operating in the Belen Consolidated School System for a decade. The program’s progress during that decade was as follows:
- Total elementary students tutored: 850
- Total students who made gains in math, reading or both: 808 (95%)
- Portion of the tutored students who gained one year or more in grade level: 437 (51%)
- Portion of the tutored students whose academic skills rose to grade level by the completion of their tutoring: 423 (50%)
At the completion of each school year not only were the results of the program tabulated but comments about the program from participating teachers were recorded and distributed with the tabulated results. In the ARCHIVES on this website the reader can find the annual year-end tutoring program results.
The tutoring program continued through the academic School Year 2011 – 2012. That year five Valencia County elementary schools participated in the program. The results that year were these:
- 103 students (94% made gains in reading or math skills;
- 60 students (55%) gained one or more years in reading or math ability, and
- 60 students (55%) met standards at or above grade level.
CHANGE IN ADELANTE NOW FOUNDATION’S TAX STATUS
In 2003 the IRS had issued a ruling containing the following statement: “..[D]uring an advance ruling period you will be treated as a publicly supported organization, and not as a private foundation. This advance ruling period begins and ends on the dates shown above. [Ending date, December 31, 2005]”
At the beginning of 2006 the IRS examined the sources of donations on which Adelante Now Foundation had been operating and determined that because a disproportionate portion of the donations made to the foundation had come from one source – Jalapeño Corporation – the foundation could not qualify as a “publicly supported organization.” By a ruling letter issued in December 2006 the IRS stated:
“Based on the financial information you submitted covering your advance ruling period, we have determined that you are a private foundation as defined in section 509(a) of the Code. Your exempt status as an organization described in section 501(c) (3) remains in effect.”
NEW MEXICO TURN AROUND CONFERENCE – 2009
In September 2009 Adelante Now Foundation joined The Heritage Foundation, The Prosperity Project, NMTA and Rio Grande Foundation in sponsoring a two day conference dedicated to such questions as how to improve New Mexico’s public education system. Because Florida and New Mexico are demographically similar and several years ago also had comparable low student achievement outcomes, the different paths taken by the two states to solve their educational problems were compared. Florida’s student achievement had improved; New Mexico’s had not. The conference also dealt with other topics having to do with improving New Mexico. Several nationally recognized speakers participated in the conference. Attendance by the public was good.
NEW EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE – BEGINNING IN 2015
In 2015 Adelante Now Foundation began a new educational initiative — this one to be directed at all New Mexico residents. Education problems in the state often are affected by family problems. Family problems often are connected to the lack of job availability. The lack job availability arises from the lack of sufficient job creation in the state. The lack of sufficient job creation arises from multiple problems including the lack of a sufficiently educated workforce to support broad job creation. The problems appear to us often to be circular in nature.
We asked, “Would it be possible to devise a long term plan to move New Mexico away from many of these problems? Could a plan be devised would will improve educational outcomes in the state, improve job creation in the state, and strengthen families in the state?
Our new mission is to answer these questions. We started our new mission by contracting with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of New Mexico to compare job creation in New Mexico with job creation in surrounding states.