I wonder how things would be different if there were an education fundraising group in Seattle that was less political and less in the pocket of the Chamber of Commerce than the Alliance for Education.This is a question that comes up with some frequency around PTA fundraising which is inequitable in Seattle Schools.
Would people contribute to it generously? What sort of grants could it make (or should it make)?
I'll first say this - bless each and every parent/grandparent/family member/community member who helps to raise money for any school. You encourage the belief in public education (and I believe students remember this later on in life) and you strengthen public education with your support.
But yes, there are schools in communities who have children whose parents have more stable lives and are able to support their learning both before they start their K-12 education and after they start their K-12 education. And, they have both the time and wherewithal to fundraise to support their child's school. I will note that in some instances, the money raised for one school means more funds for another.
If parents at one school are paying for maintenance of their building or supplies for their building, that's money the district doesn't have to spend. Theoretically, that's how it should work but I don't know if that's always so.
And, at least at this blog and at the Soup for Teachers Facebook page, there are parents and community members who want to try to make things more equitable for all schools. Lend a helping hand if only on the theory that a rising tide lifts all boats. (But many people do it for just for the good of children.)
Bellevue Public Schools enjoys the support of the Bellevue Schools Foundation.
We raise funds to improve student learning through district wide academic initiatives, curriculum material, training opportunities for teachers, and an array of programs that meet students' special needs. Our donors help bridge the gap between the basic funding provided by the State of Washington and what Bellevue students need to truly excel.This sounds a lot like what the Operations Levy here in Seattle does. They provide assistance mostly for district-wide initiatives (counting on PTAs to shore up individual schools which in Bellevue may be roughly equal but certainly isn't here in Seattle.)
I would like a foundation that is devoted solely to raising up schools, one by one, with as little direction as possible from business and more direct interaction with teachers, principals and students rather than senior management of JSCEE. (Meaning, schools apply for grants on their own without the district's input which they do already.)
I'm wondering if people would support such a foundation.