<p>The Seattle schools are dealing with some schools being able to out-fundraise some others. So, what is the solution? One thought--if you try to stop it the parents might just pull out of the system and join the many already using private schools. </p>
<p>Parents shouldn't be required/allowed to fund regular staff in public schools.</p>
<p>*Portland Public Schools: One-third of all parent donations are pooled into an "equity fund" run by a foundation, which distributes the money to schools that can't raise their own funds.
Eugene (Ore.) School District: Five percent of all parent donations are pooled into an "equity fund" that is divvied up essentially equally among all schools. Parents are also allowed to donate directly to the equity fund.
Bellevue, Lake Washington, Issaquah: These districts do not pool donations but do prohibit contributions from being used to fund the salaries of certified teachers. It was in that spirit that Bellevue Public Schools after a long and contentious debate decided in June to enforce a long-neglected prohibition on using parent donations to fund staff positions. *</p>
<p>Trying to pit schools against each other takes attention away from the state not fully funding education.</p>
<p>I cannot think of a reason in the world to stop parents from donating money to make their kids' schools better.</p>
<p>That would never be an issue in Illinois, since we already have gross inequities in how our schools are funded.</p>
<p>How are they pitting schools against each other really? They are just boosting some and not doing anything to the others. The others lose nothing. Just some gain.It would be very easy to just use the funds for nonstaff items freeing up money for the extra staff. Where there are smart people with $$$ there is a way.</p>
<p>In our school district, some of the "richer" PTAs adopt a "poorer" school and help to fund supplementary activities there. This is nice, but it doesn't go far enough. It would be much better if the school district required all fundraisers to contribute a certain percentage (for example 10%) to a common pot. Then that money could be drawn on for support for schools in lower-income parts of the district. Even the "poorer" schools would contribute to the common pot, but at a level that was appropriate for their ability.</p>
<p>When I saw the kind of money that came into Happykid's elementary school from designated donations from Giant, Safeway, and Target, I registered my Target Visa card for the Title 1 school across town where my friend teaches.</p>
That would never be an issue in Illinois, since we already have gross inequities in how our schools are funded.
<p>Same here, except it isn't what you think--the poor schools have a lot higher funding AND some of the money raised by property taxes in other towns go to help fund those schools on top of what they get from their own property taxes, state funding, etc. Our district is right in the middle of our state average for per pupil funding but it is one of the top districts in the state. The state can't seem to figure out why it is that way.....</p>
<p>Poorer schools do get more state money in Illinois, but not nearly enough to even the playing field. In the county where I live, there are two adjacent districts; in the poorer district, taxpayers pay about two and a half times more of their assessed value in school taxes than do those in the wealthier district, yet the schools in the poorer district operate with about two-thirds of the money per pupil of those in the wealthier. Six or seven years ago, Education Week ranked the states in terms of education equity - Illinois ranked dead last.</p>
<p>My donated dollars to a particular school are put toward MY kid's education unless I decide otherwise. Tax dollars go everywhere and I pay plenty of those too.
If the state decided my "donation" should go where THEY decide, it's no longer a donation--it's more taxation in another form.</p>
<p>The poorer schools here operate on almost DOUBLE what our per pupil spending is in our district---and they still have a 45% graduation rate....</p>
<p>Further evidence that money alone can not solve education issues. It's not what some people want to hear, but it starts at home. Government can't make school a priority for some kids, but their parents/guardians sure can. When parents don't make learning a priority, their kids follow suit. And no government program can effectively change that.</p>
<p>Not only money is needed to even the playing field. That has been proven over and over again. Parental involvement is needed most. The best solution (although unlikely) is for parents most involved in volunteering at their kid's school to volunteer at ANOTHER school that lacks the parental support they so sorely need...</p>
<p>If it's illegal for the PTA to use its fundraising dollars as they see fit, there will be other ways around it. I've seen "City X" Educational Foundation which raises money for the local school district. If there is a separate entity which is a 501c3, it seems like they could spend the money however they want. </p>
<p>Of course this doesn't solve inequities in different school systems. However, parents with means will always look for ways to make up for deficits in state funding and make their local schools better.</p>
<p>It will never be even. Even will never produce results. Even means lowring everybody in a system, not bringing some up. More money will not solve k-12 problem, there is a fraction of money spent on each student in other countries with much better results. There are cheaply organized and very successful charter schools getting started at many places in the USA.<br>
Parents involvement at school is NOT important at all. Actually if parents were less involved, maybe k-12 system was in better shape than it is right now. Parents are responsible for pulling the level down, so that poor Johny will fit despite his hate of doing homework. Parents involvement at home helping kids with homework and prividing general support is CRUCIAL. So, suggestion is for some parents to live in 2 or more different homes and provide help for other kids? How is it feasible with most parents working full time jobs? Parents are already involved in car pooling and some other activities that are reciprocal.<br>
For k-12 to be successful all is needed is the right academic program and teachers who are able and willing to teach it. No fancy building, computers or football fields are required. Even small class sizes are optional, we are not talking about college level where profs' availability is important. Small class size is desirable, but it is OK to have a class of 40 kids, it is not an obstacle for a good teacher and at college that would be considered "small" anyway.</p>
money alone can not solve education issues
<p>That's true. But you're not going to solve them without money, either. Money does matter, a lot.</p>
That's true. But you're not going to solve them without money, either. Money does matter, a lot.</p>
<p>Maybe less than you think. Cato Institute had a pithy summary -- though you can find equally scathing reviews in dozens of other newspapers and publications:</p>
<p>"Kansas City spent as much as $11,700 per pupil--more money per pupil, on a cost of living adjusted basis, than any other of the 280 largest districts in the country. </p>
<p>The results were dismal. Test scores did not rise; the black-white gap did not diminish; and there was less, not greater, integration."</p>
<p>I've worked a lot with highly successful urban high poverty schools, and every single one of them provides a much higher intensity school experience (length of school day/year, hours in reading, math and writing, heavy use of assessments to drive instruction and reteaching) combined with substantial coaching of teachers to improve instructional effectiveness. There are plenty of other urban public schools that have just as much money per child, but that fundamentally do more of what hasn't worked before, and their results tend to be basically flat. </p>
<p>In my mind, money is far from the first answer. It may be part of the answer -- but without a strong commitment to fundamental change, money alone doesn't accomplish much, as Kansas City's demonstration showed. And, once the incremental money is part of the base equation, there is even less willingness on the part of the entrenched adults in making changes that are more than cosmetic.</p>
<p>Please watch "Waiting for Superman" where Jeffrey Canada shows that extended class time and superb teachers (no union interference) motivating and encouraging children have produced stellar, reproducible results even in the most hopeless districts. Spending money on outstanding teachers seems to be much more important than spending on facilities.</p>
<p>Thanks to Nrsdb4, here's the trailer: <a href="http://www.hulu.com/watch/187840/chi...vis-guggenheim%5B/url%5D">http://www.hulu.com/watch/187840/chi...vis-guggenheim</a>.</p>
<p>I'm well aware that simply throwing money at the problem will not fix it. But in the rural area where I live, schools have had to cut their academic programs to the bare minimum required by the state to remain accredited. It hurts kids throughout the economic/academic spectra. The kids at the top have no opportunity to take honors or AP courses, because the districts cannot afford to offer any. The kids lower down the ability scale do not get the services they need, because "frills" like shop, consumer science, and business education have been eliminated or severely cut back. All the kids suffer when there is no art or music instruction. All the kids suffer when you have 40 kids, from special needs kids through college-bound kids, in a single English class.</p>
<p>There is no way that's going to get fixed without more money, and lots of it. I look at the wealthy suburban school districts, and I see lots of "extras" that parents there take for granted, that kids in our neck of the woods will never see. Why? Because they have money, and we don't.</p>
<p>And in a broader perspective, for the last half-century we have not been attracting top people into public education; and anyone who thinks that can be fixed without substantial amounts of money is very mistaken. Without quality teachers, all the government programs and other trendy fixes in the world won't solve the problem. No, money's not the whole answer, but it's a big part of the answer, and without more money, we're all just whistling Dixie when we talk about how to restore what was once the world's finest public education system.</p>
That's true. But you're not going to solve them without money, either. Money does matter, a lot.
<p>You're right. It gets you $1 million football field, let's you travel all over the country to play a football game, and buy hundreds of laptops that are "stolen" on a regular basis... while the school continues to fail...</p>