Could you tell us what you think of the situation regarding PTA fundraising,
considering that some schools are raising more money than others, thereby
offering better programs to their students?
HR, Palo Alto
For those readers who are not aware
of the circumstances, this is a capsulization: Some of our schools have PTA’s
that raise large amounts of money as a result of living in one of the more
affluent attendance areas. The schools that raise more money are using it to
hire extra teachers for lowering class size and providing programs that the
other schools cannot provide. The Board of Education is discussing ways to
deal with this inequity.
I offer two thoughts as a means of
- At the beginning of the current school year, my
principal presented to our faculty a statement that she asked us to
consider: "All of our children are all of our children." Could we express
our concern, discipline, and fondness to children outside of our own
individual classes? This, she posited, would help to make the school a more
- Think back to a year or so ago, when the Palo Alto
schools were urging votes for a parcel tax to help fund increased teacher
salaries and other improvements. In such a venture, we were urged to
understand that even though we may not still have children in our schools,
and therefore not personally affected, everyone in our society reaps the
benefits of a well-educated populace.
With those ideas as a background, I
offer my opinion and propose a solution to the problem. Why not take each
school’s fundraising proceeds, deposit them into a centralized account, and
then divide the funds among the participating schools? In this way, we
recognize that all of our children are, indeed, all of our children, and that
we are all contributing to the welfare of the entire school-aged population,
whether we are related to the children or not.
To paraphrase a popular bumper
sticker: Think more globally while you act scholastically.