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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Parents Paying For Teachers Poses Problems

— School foundations are fundraising machines at campuses across San Diego Unified. But as KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis explains, their financial support of teachers is posing some problems:

Public school foundations are made-up mostly of active parents who want to take matters into their own hands. They do that by paying for a whole host of things missing from the classroom -- including teachers.

But the district has no policy as to whether these teachers should work for the foundation or work for the district, whether the foundation should be required to pay for salary increases and benefits. or whether they should be protected against reassignments or layoffs.

Teresa Stivers is a parent at Kumeyaay Elementary in Tierrasanta. She told the school board their foundation-backed teachers work for the school community.

"Our students love Mrs. Young and we don't want to see her go," Stivers said. "In addition to Ms. Young, we pay for our music and art teachers. And we pay them (salary) increases. We love them and we want to do whatever it takes to keep them happy and keep them at our schools."

The school board is now asking a committee to take a closer look at the issue. Trustees say its an important topic because more schools are relying on foundations for help.

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