PTAs and Sharing Dollars
According to a new report by the Center for American Progress, a liberal advocacy group, schools that serve just one-tenth of 1 percent of American students collect 10 percent of the estimated $425 million that PTAs raise nationwide each year.Addressing inequities:
The district written about in the Times is the tony/not-so-tony Malibu/Santa Monica district.Leaders at several overachieving PTAs also said their generosity addressed another kind of inequality: Their schools did not benefit from Title I, the federal taxpayer-funded program for schools that serve large numbers of poor children.But Catherine Brown, a co-author of the report, said that when richer PTAs paid for teachers and programs that poorer ones could not afford, students in less well-off schools fell even further behind.
But there is poverty, too; of the 11 elementary schools in the 11,000-student district, four in Santa Monica, including Edison, qualify for Title I aid. Half of Edison’s students come from low-income families, and three-quarters are Hispanic.
Several years ago, the Santa Monica-Malibu school board came up with a solution: Pool most donations from across the district and distribute them equally to all the schools.What one school board member had to say - read it twice and tell us what you think:
The funding program is considered a national model, and has many enthusiastic supporters. But for some locals it is a sore point that has helped fuel a long-simmering secession movement in which Malibu — more solidly affluent than Santa Monica — would create its own district, allowing it to keep all of its donations in its own schools.
An ideal PTA system gives a parent “the opportunity to put your Seattle Schools Community Forum: PTAs and Sharing Dollars: