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Parents Try To Fill Funding Void At Some San Diego Schools

Aired 9/29/11 on KPBS News.

About 1,000 San Diego school employees were laid off over the summer to help the district close an $80 million budget short fall. A handful of schools held on to some of their staff thanks to parent donations.

— Parent organizations and schools are ramping up fundraising efforts this year to cope with district-wide budget cuts. Some of these efforts are far more ambitious than your average bake sale.

At Jerabek Elementary in Scripps Ranch the family and faculty organization (FFO) has paid the salaries of a computer tech and one part-time librarian for several years. FFO President Debbie Janssen said this year they added two more positions to the list.

“The nurse and the (other) librarian were cut," she said. "The principal came and asked if we as the FFO could fund them, because he no longer has it in the budget that the district gave him.”

The number of full-time equivalent positions paid for with donations also rose at Bird Rock, EB Scripps, La Jolla, Loma Portal and Torrey Pines elementary schools and La Jolla High School.

Jerabek's students will still be doing their annual wrapping paper sale fundraiser. But the FFO has more ambitious plans for its annual Super Pledge Drive. They've increased their fundraising goal by about $42,000 this year, according to Janssen

“We’re trying to raise about $180,000 this year for all of our services that we’re providing and we equate that to about $200 per student. We’re encouraging and asking for $200 a student and that’s out Super Pledge,” she said. The group is also providing arts and science lessons and classroom supplies.

Families in poorer communities don't have $200 to support keeping programs and staff at their children's schools but San Diego Unified Chief of Staff Bernie Rhinerson said that doesn't mean they're getting a lesser education.

“The schools in our poorer areas are getting Title 1 funds and other funds," he said. "So we’re very grateful for the support we get from these foundations and think it’s a positive thing. But we’re very committed to making sure we’ve got equity in all of our schools.”

Schools have been looking to raise extra funds from day one this school year. Juarez Elementary in Serra Mesa partnered with Jamba Juice to offer $2 smoothies to parents and students on the first day of school.

Comments

Avatar for user 'aarynb'

aarynb | September 29, 2011 at 7:04 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

"Families in poorer communities don't have $200 to support keeping programs and staff at their children's schools but San Diego Unified Chief of Staff Bernie Rhinerson said that doesn't mean they're getting a lesser education."

Oh, really? Does Bernie Rhinerson think parents are that stupid? He really expects us to believe that while all these schools (north of the I-8, mind you and many in predominantly white, wealthy neighborhoods) have access to librarians (meaning school libraries can actually be OPEN) and technology (that poorer schools don't have), the educations is not in any way lesser. He should be fired for saying such nonsense.

The inequality here is disgusting. The non-profit arm of my daughter's wonderful but always-struggling public school just bent over backwards to hold a golf event, dinner and silent auction that earned net proceeds of $4000 and I'm supposed to believe that our school has the same resources as the Scripps Ranch school—that I bet money has air conditioning while temps in my kids' classroom frequently top 95-degrees—that intends to raise $180k? This is totally offensive on so many levels. I'm nearly speechless. I don't even know where to begin to take this article apart. But I'm sure gonna start.

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Avatar for user 'aarynb'

aarynb | September 29, 2011 at 10:08 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

Oh, and P.S. Aren't these some of the schools benefitting from the fuzzy math Joanne Faryon reported on in June?

Someone needs to be publicly and loudly making these connections.

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