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A new study found that the number of parent and community-led private fundraising groups is snowballing. In California, private fundraising has become a way for parents to raise money for their kids’ schools and compensate for inadequacies in state funding.

Parents and even administrators often don’t like to talk about where they get extra money or how federal money is spent. But here’s what we’ve learned so far about the nonprofit fundraising groups that boost certain schools.

Parent-fundraising groups funnel millions of dollars into San Diego Unified schools to pay for teachers and extra programs. Group leaders say the money isn’t a fair measure of student equity, but schools that get foundation money also tend to have more experienced teachers and more leverage to keep programs and faculty they want.

Every year, parents funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars into nonprofit foundations set up to help certain public schools. But San Diego Unified has broken promises to monitor how school foundations fund-raise and spend their cash.