It truly is a privilege to have the luxury of being able to dedicate time and money to something you believe in. But it shouldn’t be necessary — and worst of all, it might deepen school inequality.
The money parents raised drove the changes to McKinley Elementary in a big way. And because district officials have pointed to McKinley as a glowing example of the neighborhood school model, it’s worth understanding what role money and philanthropy played if other schools are to follow McKinley’s lead.
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.
Mario Koran and NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia explain how school fundraising is distributed in schools around San Diego Unified.
Some San Diego Unified schools are letting their fundraising groups run their official school websites, and even allowing businesses to advertise on their sites. The San Diego County Civil Grand Jury says that contradicts the district’s own guidelines.
School fundraising groups say they balance the equation by drumming up money for schools that get less state and federal funds. Because this line of thinking keeps resurfacing, it’s worth a closer look.
Parent fundraising groups are pumping a lot of money into San Diego Unified schools, but because the district doesn’t track these nonprofits, we haven’t been able to say how much – until now.
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.