Report: Students lobbying over school admissions likely violating law

An organization called Teens Take Charge, which is made up of student activists, likely is violating federal tax law by publicly opposing candidates for office, a report says.

The organization is busy advocating for an end to competitive admissions in New York City schools, part of an “equity” agenda that has been adopted even by the White House.

But the Free Beacon reported that its own analysis revealed some potential problems.

The U.S. tax code allows nonprofits to lobby, “provided that lobbying does not comprise a ‘substantial part’ of their activities. What they cannot do is support or oppose any candidate for public office, a prohibition that includes ‘the publishing or distributing of statements,'” the Free Beacon reported.

But the Teens Take Charge organization has been holding rallies against local office-seekers. And they have been demanding online that they “drop out.”

The group, a part of the nonprofit FJC, even could “imperil the tax-exempt status of the larger organizations,” the report said legal experts suggested.

Anna Massoglia, a researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics, told the Free Beacon said Teens Take Charge’s “decision in January to call for a city council candidate, Maud Maron, to ‘drop out’ of a race could prompt the IRS to ‘reevaluate’ FJC’s tax-exempt status.”

It was on Twitter that the local group launched the hashtag “#DropOutMaud.”

Offline, the group held a rally opposing Maron’s candidacy, describing it even as “We say NO to Maud Maron” and other candidates, the report said.

That’s a “pretty explicit” violation, Massoglia told the Free Beacon.

Maron has supported competitive admissions for top-rated schools, a position that Teens Take Charges describes as being “segregationist,” the report said.

“This is campaigning, not issue advocacy, and it’s facially unlawful,” a partner at a New York City law firm who has represented major nonprofits said in the report. “It’s the kind of thing that could result in enforcement action from the Internal Revenue Service.”

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