In California, private fundraising has become a way for parents to raise money for their kids’ schools and compensate for inadequacies in state funding.
Homey efforts like parent-led bake sales used to be enough to cover the extras, things like new playground equipment or after-school clubs.
But over the years, fundraising has become more sophisticated, as parents formed nonprofit fundraising entities known as school foundations. At some schools, typically in wealthier San Diego neighborhoods, that fundraising has been remarkably successful – bringing in hundreds of thousands of a year.
One recent study found that the number of parent and community-led school fundraising nonprofits more than tripled nationally between 1995 and 2010. The amount of money they raised more than quadrupled in that time.
The New York Times zoomed in this week on the Coronado Unified School District, where foundation money helped pay for arts and music classes, sports medicine classes at the high school and a digital media academy at the middle school, where students learn animation and how to design buildings using 3D printers.
To illustrate the point that wealthier districts can provide what other districts don’t, they compared Coronado with San Diego Unified, whose foundations raised a fraction of the amount per pupil as Coronado’s.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
I tried the charter school route but they fundraised their ass off! They raised more money than the regular public school my daughter now goes to. though there are some good charter schools out there don't fool yourself that that is the solution to school funding. When we are 48th or 49th in state education funding nation wide we still have funds for prisons. Until our priorities change it's going to keep getting worse. $8 or $9K to educate and $65K to incarcerate... I'm working to reform the system but in the meantime I'm fundraising for my kids school! No other option
Del Mar School District has it right. Put all foundation money into one pot and divide it evenly among all of the schools.
Those who donate still get their tax deduction.
There is no "inadequacy of state funding". Government schools get money from many, many sources and school foundations are one of them. If you add up all the sources CA spends $20,000 per year per student. Those sources include state funding, bond spending, federal spending, fees, foundations, pension programs, parcel taxes, builder fees and I'm sure there are others. Sum all that up and you're at around $20,000 per student. The average class size at SDUSD is 22 students (big classes are another myth) and you end up with more than $400,000 per classroom. That's a big number and far exceeds what the average private school spends, but that doesn't matter because there's no satisfying the voracious beast which is union driven education.
The reality is that government run education has an enormous propaganda machine always telling people that funding is too low. I wish VOSD would be independent thinkers and not carry their water.
It is true school foundations raise different sums of money, but so what? It's a tiny amount of the total funding pie. Poor schools qualify for grants. But ultimately the point is missed: THE PROBLEM WITH GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS IS NOT A MONEY PROBLEM.
No amount of money will improve education outcomes. Will teachers work harder if all their salaries were raised 10%? 20%? There isn't one study that shows more money equals higher achievements in education.
What we need is competition so the crappy teachers, administrators and schools get shutdown and replaced by better performers. Until that happens there will be no fundamental change.
@Michael Robertson "What we need is competition so the crappy teachers, administrators and schools get shutdown and replaced by better performers." Please show a study that competition gets better results. Teaching is difficult, that is why so few get into it, and why so many leave after a few years.
@Michael Robertson "I wish VOSD would be independent thinkers and not carry their water. "
VOSD shills for charter schools. what would lead you to believe otherwise?
"Theoretically, the Local Control Funding Formula– which basically sends money to districts in one big pot and allows them to divvy it up – should give school districts the flexibility to shift funding to areas that need extra support."
No it won't. It was a bait and switch because that money will be used towards the increased exposure to the massive pension debts and the districts contributions. Governor Brown screwed the kids again while lying through his teeth.
Tamara Hurley (educated Mom) points out the next part of it by pointing out the real focus of prop 2 on the ballot.
Better get used to the idea of these parent organizations filling in the budget gaps in this manner. The districts will be pleading poverty soon enough.
@MarioKoran so glad you're writing about this. Can't wait to read more!