Paul Anthony v. the mysterious PAPSA
Photo credit: Willamette Week
Paul Anthony is in a tough spot. What's Really Going On with the vicious attacks against the Portland Public School board director? The Portland Observer headline reads, "Principals and Administrators Say Behavior Intolerable." The article goes on to say:
Comprised of principals and other school administrators, the PAPSA organization obtained access to Anthony’s private email and text messages by using the Oregon Public Records Law.
The Portland Tribune says something similar:
Paul Anthony, the Portland Public Schools board member under pressure from principals and two board colleagues to resign, is refusing to turn over Facebook Messenger correspondence that the Portland Association of Public School Administrators sought as part of its extensive request for Anthony's written records.
From reading newspaper accounts, the reader may wonder just who's behind the attacks on Anthony. Who or what is the Portland Association of Public School Administrators (PAPSA)? Is it a charitable group or union? What is the vision and mission of the group? Who sits on its board of directors? Who are the officers? What are its rules for governance? How does the group decide on actions? Do members pay fees? Who funds PAPSA? We set out to find some answers.
First, we launched a search for the Portland Association of Public School Administrators website. We were expecting to find something like the Portland Association of Teachers website, only smaller, with affirmative statements like this one:
Our union, the Portland Association of Teachers, represents more than 4000 professional educators in the Portland Public School system. We're working to create the best possible learning environment for our students, by protecting our profession and advocating for frontline educators.
As research goes, finding a website is a fairly routine endeavor. It's easy.
A PAPSA website was not to be found. No logo either. Is there a PAPSA website?
Next, a cursory look at the corporate division of the Oregon Secretary of State. Is there an organization with the name of Portland Association of Public School Administrators in Oregon? Below is the screenshot resulting from that search (underline added). "Your search returned no business entity names" was the result. Using exact words in any order still yielded no results.
Maybe PAPSA is listed as an active nonprofit organization with the state of Oregon. It should reside comfortably between Portland Association of Health Underwriters and Portland Association of Teachers. It's not there. It wasn't found in inactive organizations either.
Is PAPSA registered with the state of Oregon?
PAPSA would be required to file a tax return with the IRS, wouldn't it? Here we found some identifiable information. PAPSA has an EIN number! From 1986 to date, according to the IRS, PAPSA has not filed form 990 required of nonprofit organizations.
No results found.
There is some speculation that PAPSA may be a 501.c.6 nonprofit organization. Even if it is, it Is still required to file a 990 tax form, isn't it? According to Citizen Audit, Kevin Crotchett may be associated with the group. Is PAPSA a 501.c.6 nonprofit? (What is a 501.c.6 organization?) Would such a status entitle PAPSA to demand records from Antony?
Below is a copy of PAPSA's page on Guidestar, an organization that provides information about nonprofit organizations. It appears that PAPSA was formed in 1986 by Elizabeth Wilson. Who is Elizabeth Wilson?
From all accounts so far, we know very little about Portland Association of Public School Administrators. It doesn't seem to be a charitable organization or union like Portland Association of Teachers. It may be a nonprofit, although it does not seem to be registered in the state of Oregon. It seems to have no assets or revenue. Only one person, perhaps two, can be identified as being associated with the group.
Compare information available from Economic Research Institute for Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) and Portland Association of Public School Administrators (PAPSA). Are they similar as news reports have said?
Does PAPSA exist?
Our research leaves us with more questions than answers. Who retained the lawyer that wrote the scathing letter for PAPSA asking for Anthony's resignation? Who is paying legal fees for the Association? If PAPSA has assets, why hasn't it filed a tax return -- ever? Does PAPSA's lawyer know about the business status of the Association? If so, why does the law firm seem to be misrepresenting PAPSA? Why didn't the journalists smearing Paul Anthony's character check out the validity of the accusing organization? Shouldn't we hold attorneys and journalists to a higher standard?
Parents Across America Oregon does not condone or make excuses for Anthony's bad behavior. However, if Portland parents, students, educators, and community members knew what certain PPS corporate board members have in mind for Portland Public Schools, we wager they'd express a few choice expletives of their own.