Becoats creates nonprofit foundation

Jan. 16, 2014 @ 06:17 PM

When former schools superintendent Eric Becoats announced plans to resign last month, he gave an impassioned speech in which he vowed to remain in Durham and continue to “work to support young people.”

It appears Becoats has taken the first step in keeping his promise.

He recently filed Articles of Incorporation with the Department of the Secretary of State to form a nonprofit called Becoats Foundation Inc.

Becoats could not be reached for comment, but an attachment included with his paperwork said the nonprofit was “organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue.”

“This journey has strengthened my faith and belief that all children can succeed if provided the appropriate resources,” Becoats said in his parting statement Dec. 19. “As a taxpaying member of this community, where I plan to remain, where my son received a great high school education that adequately prepared him for college, I will continue my work to support young people.”

School board Vice Chairwoman Minnie Forte-Brown said she has not spoken to Becoats about his plans.

“I wish him well in whatever he does,” Forte-Brown said Thursday. “He’s a committed educator and a very smart man. I wish him well and will certainly support him.”

Becoats resigned last month under pressure after a serious of missteps that caused a majority of the seven-member school board to lose confidence in his ability to lead the school district.

Becoats, whose contract was due to expire in 2016, received a one-time payout of $298,072.

Longtime Durham Public Schools administrator Hugh Osteen has been named interim superintendent while the school board searches for a permanent leader.