How Budget Cuts and PTA Fundraising Undermined Equity in San Francisco Public Schools is a very interesting article in the San Francisco Public Press that deals with issues of funding inequity far beyond the confines of San Francisco.
In fact, it may be the best piece I’ve seen on role of parent fundraising in this problem and ways to deal successfully with the challenge.
Here’s how it ends:
The most effective solutions may be political, not charitable.
Reich counsels parents troubled by growing public-school inequities to turn their energies from giving to advocating for reform. He said they should work to raise tax rates for the wealthy, decouple school budgets from property taxes and target state and local resources to the poorest schools.
In a Sept. 4 op-ed for The New York Times, Stanford political science professor Rob Reich (no relation to the coincidentally named Robert Reich) went a step further, proposing that the federal government create a special charitable status for school-based PTAs, so that those who give to poor schools get double deductions and those who give to affluent schools get none.
Norton said the changes in state funding have sparked other possible reform ideas specific to San Francisco.
“We desperately need to reweight the student formula,” she said. This may be the most decisive battle to be waged in the next year on behalf of poor and immigrant schools such as Junipero Serra.
“A well-educated populace is the key to a healthy democracy,” said David, the Alvarado parent, who turned to full-time education activism after a successful Wall Street career. “Public education is an investment, not an expenditure. My grandparents were immigrants. They came to the United States, they got a public education, they lived the American dream. Education is the one way we know that can help each person rise, generation after generation. If you care about the future of America, education for all kids is in all our interests.”
I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About Parent Fundraising & Equity Issues.