From The New York Times: Parents of students at the Conserve School, a private high school in Wisconsin, have been handed a setback in their attempt to prevent the school from cutting its program to one semester from four years. Judge Neal A. Nielsen has ruled that the parents have no standing in the case because they are not beneficiaries of the trust that was set up to operate the school. Conserve, in Land O’ Lakes, was established by James R. Lowenstine, a former chief executive of the Central Steel and Wire Company, to provide an education focused on nature. To finance the school, Lowenstine set up a trust that is the majority holder of stock in Central Steel. The trustees argued that because of the economic downturn, the money in the trust was inadequate for operating the school.
FROM MARCH 2009: Parents of students who attend Conserve School in Wisconsin are suing the school's trustees over plans to close the private prep school. The parents argue that the trustees are acting in their own interests — as officials of a separate, profit-making steel company — and want them removed from oversight of the school. The dispute shows how much distrust can build when a nonprofit’s trustees are one and the same as those overseeing a company. And it illustrates what can happen to a nonprofit that fails to diversify its investments.
Read The New York Times article.