Oct. 9: Should schools share the money they fundraise?
Should schools share their fundraising profits with others in their districts whose families cannot afford to do the same?
That was the main question tackled by Davis-based Jill Duman, "a journalist, parent and part-time playground attendant," in an opinion piece in Sunday's Sacramento Bee.
The point is to give all students quality and equitable schooling. When bake sale dollars are being used to hire teacher aides, refurbish computers, maintain arts programs, better-off schools will be able to fill in the holes where the state and federal budgets have not.
"To me, it speaks to an erosion of the principle that public schools are going to be funded through a common public fund, that no matter what town you are in, you are going to have the same chance to be successful," said IDEA Director John Rogers.
As IDEA noted in our 2011 Educational Opportunity Report, there is a great discrepancy in the amount of fundraising between low-, middle- and high-income communities. Schools with high poverty (noted by the number of students in free- or reduced-price lunch program) raised an average of $5,000, whereas more well-off schools raised up to $100,000.
According to Duman, this reality prompted one Northern California school district to change its policy so that money raised at any one of its three elementary schools would be shared equally. But others think hard-earned funds should stay with the students, parents and campus that fundraised for them.
Read the full op-ed: The Conversation: Should the haves share the dollars they raise with the have-nots?