Donations to your enrolled public school

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staythecourse
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by staythecourse » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:25 am

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:15 am
A school or district with more funding isn't necessarily going to offer my children a better education or "experience".
Not true. There are schools where if not for the donations of the parents arts, theater, music would have been eliminated so I don't know HOW you can say that money does not give a better "experience".

Now giving MORE money to admin or the "system" is probably correct as the amount that filters down to the kid's level are a few pennies on the dollar.

Good luck.
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LarryAllen
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by LarryAllen » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:30 am

We are in a very high net income area but still give $500 per kid to our school district foundation. It's for music, arts, sports, etc.

jaj2276
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by jaj2276 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:33 am

essbeer wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:17 pm
Probably about $2000/year. And we are borderline slackers, lots of parents contribute $10k+ per year. I honestly have no idea where the money goes, but there is a lot of peer pressure from the other parents to contribute. I once mentioned that I found $400 per person for a public school fundraiser party to be elitist and some parents wouldn't talk to me for a month after that. This is in addition to the 100 hours of work a year they want. I just do what I have to do to keep my kids from being socially black-balled.
JFC this is awful behavior. I hope this happens to me when my kids get in to school as I'll relish the opportunity to tell these people where to stick it.

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dm200
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by dm200 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:43 am

miamivice wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:52 am
Keep in mind something.
You may run into a lot of people who proudly announce that they donate to the school. You may get the impression that everyone (or if not everyone, a lot of folks) donate to the school. But unless you are the treasurer who accepts the checks, you really have no idea how much the school receives in donations.
Yup, I'm saying that there are folks out there who proudly proclaim on social media, or to family/friends, etc, that they donate to the schools who actually never quite getting around to writing the check.
Very true :(

psteinx
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by psteinx » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:27 pm

1) I suspect this is to a large extent a regional issue. In Missouri, I'm not aware of these kinds of heavy, socially reinforced donations. Perhaps at the richest districts.

2) While there are, occasionally, schools that cut back heavily on the arts, or math, or whatever, I rather doubt that most of these schools would seriously cut out such programs in the absence of fundraising. Likely more across-the-board belt tightening. But it's much more appealing to parents to say that without their donations, the school would have to cut art and music, versus say, janitorial services or administrators.

3) I'm reasonably confident that public schools, wealthy and poor, have, on average, far more resources (even absent parental donations) than they did one or two generations ago (i.e. "back in MY day..."). Look at long term graphs of inflation adjusted expenditures per student... And even back in the 1980s, 1960s, and earlier (does history even go BACK that far?), somehow, kids were taught reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic... They might even have been taught some music...

4) The level of social pressure on parents to donate reported by some in this thread is likely unhealthy, IMO...

EddyB
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by EddyB » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:47 pm

psteinx wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:27 pm

3) I'm reasonably confident that public schools, wealthy and poor, have, on average, far more resources (even absent parental donations) than they did one or two generations ago (i.e. "back in MY day..."). Look at long term graphs of inflation adjusted expenditures per student... And even back in the 1980s, 1960s, and earlier (does history even go BACK that far?), somehow, kids were taught reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic... They might even have been taught some music...
I suspect that's true, too, but isn't it only half the picture? Has the nature of the expenditures changed, too? My son's school (serving a modearately-wealthier-than-average slice of a fairly average town) has ESL and special education programs that were never imagined in my own elementary school experience. I know another school in the district gives more than half its students (on the basis of need) breakfast, lunch and an after-school snack, which is radically different from what was available in my own (socioeconomically similar) elementary school experience. I'm sure there are administrative and retirement costs to complain about, but if those are the market costs of getting people to do these jobs, and they've changed, you can't just ignore them.

daveydoo
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by daveydoo » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:04 pm

jaj2276 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:33 am

JFC this is awful behavior. I hope this happens to me when my kids get in to school as I'll relish the opportunity to tell these people where to stick it.
Donating to the public schools foundation was an expectation for us but there was no social pressure that trickled down to kids. The kids had no idea who gave and who didn't.

Maybe there should be this kind of recognition so this poster will some day appreciate what others do for his/her kids. :happy
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

daveydoo
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by daveydoo » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:15 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:22 am
So what happens in the schools without rich parents, and "gravy"? They no longer teach Math?
Giant classes. Maybe 50 kids per class, sitting on the radiators. That kind of thing. Be glad you're not familiar with how this works. EDIT: Oh, and this is the school with "rich" parents.
HomerJ wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:22 am
Seems like people need to be writing their representative, not writing checks to fix the problem just at their school.
Hahahahahahaha! Oh wait -- you're serious? :oops:

Yes, I should have mailed a letter instead of donating tens of thousands over nearly two decades. Kinda kickin' myself now -- will tack this on to the "worst financial mistakes" thread as soon as I'm done here. :D

I'm guessing you and your friends and neighbors have changed a lot of billion-dollar civic and state-wide plans with a stamp. There are endless efforts at the regional and state level to fix this problem. The current system already was a fix -- to ensure that there was no asymmetry in school funding, property taxes were decoupled from school funding, dooming all schools to suck, equally. I'll PM you the address and you can fix it for us maybe...? I'll even reimburse you for the stamp. :D
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

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celia
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by celia » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:12 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:25 am
stoptothink wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:15 am
A school or district with more funding isn't necessarily going to offer my children a better education or "experience".
Not true. There are schools where if not for the donations of the parents arts, theater, music would have been eliminated so I don't know HOW you can say that money does not give a better "experience".
In many cases, the "discretionary"/extra money is spent on special ed, remedial programs, teacher pensions, or after-school programs that don't impact the average student.

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HomerJ
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by HomerJ » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:19 pm

LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:30 am
We are in a very high net income area but still give $500 per kid to our school district foundation. It's for music, arts, sports, etc.
So weird. Our public school in the low-income Midwest somehow manages to have music, arts, and sports without parents donating extra money.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:31 pm

essbeer wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:47 am
HomerJ wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:18 am
essbeer wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:17 pm
Probably about $2000/year. And we are borderline slackers, lots of parents contribute $10k+ per year. I honestly have no idea where the money goes, but there is a lot of peer pressure from the other parents to contribute. I once mentioned that I found $400 per person for a public school fundraiser party to be elitist and some parents wouldn't talk to me for a month after that. This is in addition to the 100 hours of work a year they want. I just do what I have to do to keep my kids from being socially black-balled.
Wow, where do you live?

Here, in the Midwest, I've raised 3 kids through grades 1-12 (last one is currently in grade 10), and we've never been asked for direct donations. Sure, fund-raisers now and then when they sell candy I guess. But even those were rare, and not every year.

And what do you mean, 100 hours of work a year? What kind of work? We helped carpool the volleyball team once to a remote tournament (our daughter was on the team of course). That's about it.
Central Houston and I don't want to make it sounds like I'm complaining, it's great and all, but I was just surprised by what level of parent contribution was expected at a public school. They send out a request for money during the first month and they keep a chart in front of the school showing what the current shortfall of expected funding is. The money goes to the PTO (which as far as I can tell is all P and no T.) The PTO keeps track of which classes are contributing the right amount and which aren't, and there are special perks for the classes of big contributors. There are "naming opportunities" at the school, sponsoring of events and special plaques, I think the right to name a school bird house went for $500 recently. I have no proof that this is actually true, but there are plenty of parents who believe that their contributions get their children into the classes of the top teachers. There is a tremendous amount of deference shown to the "active" parents by the school staff and our children get special attention that you can't help but notice. And, of course, the good parents know who the other good parents are and who the deadbeats are. You notice who gets invited to birthday parties.

Parents can basically be indistinguishable from employees at the school. There are plenty of parents who spend hours every single day volunteering at the school. Parent's do the paper work, monitor the lunchroom, assist in the classes themselves. There are art assistant and music assistants and library assistants, etc. If a teacher needs supplies a parent will be assigned to go get them (and pay for them of course.) There are monthly events at the school where parents do absolutely everything from setup to cleanup. The dad's group does maintenance and repairs. We even go to teacher's homes if they need something fixed. It's all self-policed by the parents, but if you want to be in the clique you better show up.
Parent groups create work and then collect money to fund that work, and then humble brag about how busy they are. I'm not sure how much of it really benefits the kids that need help, there is a lot of rotor wash involved. And peer pressure, to clearly separate the "good parents" from the "deadbeats."

Now for school districts that have foundations not run by these parent groups, maybe things are different and the actual educators get to decide how to allocate the extra donated funds.

In my Missouri district, principals have to have spines of steel to stand up to the Mom lobby, not all of them make it.

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celia
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by celia » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:37 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:37 am
littlebird wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:50 pm

Not always or in every place. I can assure you that when I attended NYC public schools in the 1940's and 50's, there was no such thing as fundraising. All our simple needswere fully funded by the taxpayer, and our parents would have been shocked to have been asked for donations for public schools. And so would I have been a couple of decades later, when my kids were in public schools.
The historical data are amusing. "Not back in my day" isn't really germane here. Like how college used to be affordable -- and now it isn't.
To address the bolded fallacy, I want to say that my kids and I attended parish schools. When I went to a state college, other kids were moaning the cost of tuition, but it was the same as what my parents paid for me in high school. Fast forward a generation and kids at public colleges are still complaining about the cost of tuition while I saw it was still the same as the cost of parochial high schools.

I think the point is that if kids have to pay for their own college, it seems expensive to them, no matter how much it is. And all the extra programs, such as sports, band, drama, etc are included in the parochial high school tuition. That way, the costs are spread over the entire student body. But they still have fundraisers, such as Bingo or Silent Auctions to help keep the tuition affordable.

sawhorse
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by sawhorse » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:39 pm

essbeer wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:47 am
There is a tremendous amount of deference shown to the "active" parents by the school staff and our children get special attention that you can't help but notice. And, of course, the good parents know who the other good parents are and who the deadbeats are. You notice who gets invited to birthday parties.

Parents can basically be indistinguishable from employees at the school. There are plenty of parents who spend hours every single day volunteering at the school. Parent's do the paper work, monitor the lunchroom, assist in the classes themselves. There are art assistant and music assistants and library assistants, etc. If a teacher needs supplies a parent will be assigned to go get them (and pay for them of course.) There are monthly events at the school where parents do absolutely everything from setup to cleanup. The dad's group does maintenance and repairs. We even go to teacher's homes if they need something fixed. It's all self-policed by the parents, but if you want to be in the clique you better show up.
This is outrageous!

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lthenderson
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by lthenderson » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:39 pm

I live in one of eight states that have a Student Tuition Organization (STO) where you can donate money to help pay for needy students tuition in return for a tax credit of up to 65% of your donation. I like it because I can specify what school gets the money. Besides that, our school now has an opt out program where for $1000, I can opt out of all fundraisers and money making opportunities held by the school for the entire year. No longer do I have to help my child hawk $20 cheese logs that I could probably buy in a grocery store for less than a few bucks.

robebibb
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by robebibb » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:50 pm

celia wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:12 pm

In many cases, the "discretionary"/extra money is spent on special ed, remedial programs, teacher pensions, or after-school programs that don't impact the average student.
I highly doubt this extra money is spent on special education any more than it is spent on regular education. Schools are allocated additional state funding based on the need and number of Special education students.

ThatGuy
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by ThatGuy » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:00 pm

robebibb wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:50 pm
celia wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:12 pm

In many cases, the "discretionary"/extra money is spent on special ed, remedial programs, teacher pensions, or after-school programs that don't impact the average student.
I highly doubt this extra money is spent on special education any more than it is spent on regular education. Schools are allocated additional state funding based on the need and number of Special education students.
Money is fungible. My local school plays games where this year the PTO "pays" for the garden teacher, and the music teacher salaries while last year the principal paid for these two, but then the PTO paid for the PE and some other teacher instead. This combined with the 40% miscellaneous category in their budget has disinclined me from donating.
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lotusflower
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by lotusflower » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:13 pm

Here in California this is just a way of life for urban schools. The schools are terribly funded and taxes are nearly impossible to raise (Prop 13 of course) and you have very wealthy people living right next to very poor people and often going to the same schools. Many people would pay higher taxes to get better schools but there is no way to make that happen. So you donate if you can and then all the kids get to have art class.

Generally donations stay at the same school. It would probably be more equitable to redistribute donations throughout a district instead of keeping them at the schools lucky enough to have some wealthy parents, but then donations plummet. Welcome to the real world.

Private schools are very expensive and still you are expected to donate on top of the tuition, but for a lot of people the public schools are too icky, not for this Boglehead though.

At our elementary school PTA where I was treasurer and then president, families that could afford it gave $200-2000 and most of the families gave very little, and we were able to have arts and gardening and help pay for field trips. All the money went to enrichment programs, really there was no mechanism for skimming by the school administration or the staff.

daveydoo
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by daveydoo » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:30 pm

celia wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:37 pm
daveydoo wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:37 am
littlebird wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:50 pm

Not always or in every place. I can assure you that when I attended NYC public schools in the 1940's and 50's, there was no such thing as fundraising. All our simple needswere fully funded by the taxpayer, and our parents would have been shocked to have been asked for donations for public schools. And so would I have been a couple of decades later, when my kids were in public schools.
The historical data are amusing. "Not back in my day" isn't really germane here. Like how college used to be affordable -- and now it isn't.
To address the bolded fallacy, I want to say that my kids and I attended parish schools. When I went to a state college, other kids were moaning the cost of tuition, but it was the same as what my parents paid for me in high school. Fast forward a generation and kids at public colleges are still complaining about the cost of tuition while I saw it was still the same as the cost of parochial high schools.
I'm not sure that your single personal counterexample demonstrates the "fallacy" that college has become less affordable. :D

Moreover, you received expensive private faith-based secondary education and then concluded that state college was not expensive by comparison. I guess it all depends upon one's perspective.

Not sure what this has do with paying to help defray the costs of public primary and secondary education. And if parents want to send their kids to a madrasa, they should pay out of pocket, imo. Again, it seems like this has no bearing on the public-school context that the OP laid out.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

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munemaker
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by munemaker » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:31 pm

Ancal wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:41 pm
Our school has generally requested the equivalent of a month's tuition in daycare/preschool (annually), and we're happy to pay that. Brings it into perspective when we are giving up 1/12 of what we used to!
Do you still take the federal tax deduction for teachers who buy school supplies out of pocket? I have a couple friends who are teachers, and it seems to be an automatic thing with them.

I wish I could control my spouse's spending like you apparently can. :)

sawhorse
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by sawhorse » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:52 pm

munemaker wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:31 pm
Do you still take the federal tax deduction for teachers who buy school supplies out of pocket? I have a couple friends who are teachers, and it seems to be an automatic thing with them.

I wish I could control my spouse's spending like you apparently can. :)
The deduction is $250 which is less than half the average out of pocket expenditure by teachers ($513 in 2013-14, surely higher now). A lot of teachers spend more than $1000 particularly those in needy schools. Teachers in those schools also often happen to be below average pay.

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munemaker
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by munemaker » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:02 pm

sawhorse wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:52 pm
munemaker wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:31 pm
Do you still take the federal tax deduction for teachers who buy school supplies out of pocket? I have a couple friends who are teachers, and it seems to be an automatic thing with them.

I wish I could control my spouse's spending like you apparently can. :)
The deduction is $250 which is less than half the average out of pocket expenditure by teachers ($513 in 2013-14, surely higher now). A lot of teachers spend more than $1000 particularly those in needy schools. Teachers in those schools also often happen to be below average pay.
Sawhorse, Your comment is not responsive to my post. What I was asking was whether teachers who do not spend anything out of pocket (like Ancal's spouse) still take the deduction.

decapod10
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by decapod10 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:09 pm

jaj2276 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:33 am
essbeer wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:17 pm
Probably about $2000/year. And we are borderline slackers, lots of parents contribute $10k+ per year. I honestly have no idea where the money goes, but there is a lot of peer pressure from the other parents to contribute. I once mentioned that I found $400 per person for a public school fundraiser party to be elitist and some parents wouldn't talk to me for a month after that. This is in addition to the 100 hours of work a year they want. I just do what I have to do to keep my kids from being socially black-balled.
JFC this is awful behavior. I hope this happens to me when my kids get in to school as I'll relish the opportunity to tell these people where to stick it.
I haven't noticed any of these behaviors fortunately, though to be honest my wife and I are too busy with work to notice even if there were those pressures around. This is just my personal experience only, and I hope behaviors like this are the exception rather than the rule. At the very minimum, keep it between parents and not let it affect the children. Like others have mentioned, I have no idea how much others donate, and I would assume no one else knows how much we donate.

To make this somewhat relevant to the original post, I would try not to let outside pressure force you to donate more. You should donate what you think is appropriate and what you can afford.

essbeer
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by essbeer » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:10 pm

sawhorse wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:39 pm
This is outrageous!
Is it? I was surprised that it happened in public schools, but it's the normal way every public institution in Houston is funded. Donors get perks, special access, and recognition. The district calls it's program for active parents the VIPS program, not very subtle. I'm absolutely certain that HISD has a development office as well, but luckily I don't have enough money for them to bother me.

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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by rcjchicity » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:54 pm

Carson wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:49 am
Our kids are enrolled in two well-performing public elementary schools, despite there being a lot of general complaints about our overall system (Chicago Public Schools). So we're grateful for the education they're receiving, but not sure what is really all that appropriate.
We also live in Chicago, and my kids aren't in school yet, but we paid great attention to schools when buying our house. Even though CPS is a huge school system, the neighborhood elementary school system makes the variances in schools hyper-local. The wealth of the specific neighborhood makes a tremendous difference in the amenities available to the kids. A school like Bell, Blaine or Nettlehorst, in high income neighborhoods with lots of parental involvement in/donations to the "Friends of ..." groups, can have much better playground areas and extra-curriculars, for example.

The virtuous/vicious cycle aspect of this really can exacerbate inequality in what should nominally be equivalent schools within the same school district. Wealthy kids go to Bell -> the parents donate a lot to make the school nice -> test scores are high in this socioeconomic group -> more people want to go there, driving up property values in the neighborhood -> the student population demographic gets wealthier -> rinse and repeat...

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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by DocSleepy72 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:28 pm

My wife and I currently give $2 - 4K annually via the PTO/PTA and our public school's Foundation organization - both 501(c)(3). We plan to increase that over time to ~$10K annually. The organizations do fantastic things for our school district with donations.

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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by LarryAllen » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:53 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:19 pm
LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:30 am
We are in a very high net income area but still give $500 per kid to our school district foundation. It's for music, arts, sports, etc.
So weird. Our public school in the low-income Midwest somehow manages to have music, arts, and sports without parents donating extra money.
There are many different possible reasons for this. Some negative about where you live and some negative about where I live. For me, I would rather live where I live and pay the extra money... that is, extra money on top of our high taxes. You are happy in your low-income midwest and that's great. The world going round....

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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by Atilla » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:02 pm

Our donation was quite substantial. 13 years of paying school property taxes while paying out of pocket to send the boy to a private school.
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staythecourse
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by staythecourse » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:15 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:04 pm
Maybe there should be this kind of recognition so this poster will some day appreciate what others do for his/her kids. :happy
Sadly, I agree. It is one thing not to donate as it is your choice. But then to criticize others who do AND have your kid take advantage of those benefits is MORE tasteless then criticizing in the first place. If you don't like to donate don't. If you REALLY don't agree with the ethics of it then put your ethical objection full force and don't let your kids take advantage of the revenue raised. I don't seeing anybody doing that so folks must just like to complain.

Good luck.
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HomerJ
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by HomerJ » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:06 pm

LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:53 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:19 pm
LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:30 am
We are in a very high net income area but still give $500 per kid to our school district foundation. It's for music, arts, sports, etc.
So weird. Our public school in the low-income Midwest somehow manages to have music, arts, and sports without parents donating extra money.
There are many different possible reasons for this. Some negative about where you live and some negative about where I live. For me, I would rather live where I live and pay the extra money... that is, extra money on top of our high taxes. You are happy in your low-income midwest and that's great. The world going round....
I think I understand it better after reading this post
rcjchicity wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:54 pm
We also live in Chicago, and my kids aren't in school yet, but we paid great attention to schools when buying our house. Even though CPS is a huge school system, the neighborhood elementary school system makes the variances in schools hyper-local. The wealth of the specific neighborhood makes a tremendous difference in the amenities available to the kids. A school like Bell, Blaine or Nettlehorst, in high income neighborhoods with lots of parental involvement in/donations to the "Friends of ..." groups, can have much better playground areas and extra-curriculars, for example.

The virtuous/vicious cycle aspect of this really can exacerbate inequality in what should nominally be equivalent schools within the same school district. Wealthy kids go to Bell -> the parents donate a lot to make the school nice -> test scores are high in this socioeconomic group -> more people want to go there, driving up property values in the neighborhood -> the student population demographic gets wealthier -> rinse and repeat...
Looks like some states have tried to even out all schools by sharing tax money equally among all schools. So then the parents step up and pay even more to their particular school to make it nicer.

In MY state, local property taxes pay for local schools. So the more expensive areas have the nicer schools. Since I live in one of the higher income suburbs around a major city in that low-income state, our schools are pretty nice. We certainly have all the extra programs and activities most of you have to pay extra for.

I don't know how good or bad the other school districts are in my state. Maybe much worse in the rural areas, maybe the same (since less students), I don't know.

Sounds like both methods have problems with inequality.

All I know is our taxes pay for everything in my district. Which I vastly prefer. I always wondered why people would pay for private school. Seems smarter to use that money to buy a more expensive house in a good public school district. You get to enjoy a nicer house, and later on, you can sell it, and get most/all of the money back.

But it sounds like in SOME states, you have to buy the more expensive house, AND donate thousands of dollars a year to get a good public school.

I would absolutely hate that system. In that case, it might indeed be smarter to live somewhere cheaper and pay for private school.

This has been an interesting eye-opening thread.

Carson
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by Carson » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:02 am

rcjchicity wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:54 pm
We also live in Chicago, and my kids aren't in school yet, but we paid great attention to schools when buying our house. Even though CPS is a huge school system, the neighborhood elementary school system makes the variances in schools hyper-local.
A house in one of those schools would come close to double for the cost/taxes and double DH's reverse commute. And we were childfree by choice when we bought our house, changed our minds several years later. Our neighborhood is wonderful, but there's a strong population who attend the parochial schools, as well as opt for the choices offered by CPS. Therefore, the neighborhood school is good enough, but not exceptional.

My kids are now in 2nd and K, and we've gone through some real adventures with where they've been placed through the lottery and selective enrollment process, including a year at our default neighborhood school. Point is, we are really content with where they are now, and now that we finally feel settled with our situation, so trying to figure out how to manage the requests.

I definitely understand the sentiment about taxes and funding, local politics and bloated salaries. Again, these PTOs are transparent on what the money is used for - sometimes it is enrichment items, but sometimes its things one would consider essential but haven't made it through budget cuts. I'm on my way to becoming treasurer for one of them and I think that will be very interesting to see what the average type of donations are. Anyway, I don't know what I can do about our current household budget, but definitely thanks all for your info on what is a better number to incorporate in the future.
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

stoptothink
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by stoptothink » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:15 am

HomerJ wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:19 pm
LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:30 am
We are in a very high net income area but still give $500 per kid to our school district foundation. It's for music, arts, sports, etc.
So weird. Our public school in the low-income Midwest somehow manages to have music, arts, and sports without parents donating extra money.
Exactly. And if it didn't, I'd be way more inclined to seek out options for my children to have access to these activities outside of school than to "donate" to an institution which has proven to be terribly inefficient in their use of resources.

Glockenspiel
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:37 am

Wow. Some of these stories are insane to me. I'm glad I grew up in Minnesota where public education was seemingly valued and funded to supply a strong education without relying on donations.

My kids are too young to attend school yet, but from what I remember, we would have fundraisers for expensive field trips, or they would directly ask the parents for the cost of inexpensive field trips or extras. Yes, we had activities fees to participate in sports. My parents donated some of their time to volunteer to help out chaperoning or to work the concession stand or whatever for sports and things like that, but they weren't just expected to write a check out to the general school fund or anything like that.

LarryAllen
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by LarryAllen » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:38 am

HomerJ wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:06 pm
Looks like some states have tried to even out all schools by sharing tax money equally among all schools. So then the parents step up and pay even more to their particular school to make it nicer.

In MY state, local property taxes pay for local schools. So the more expensive areas have the nicer schools. Since I live in one of the higher income suburbs around a major city in that low-income state, our schools are pretty nice. We certainly have all the extra programs and activities most of you have to pay extra for.

I don't know how good or bad the other school districts are in my state. Maybe much worse in the rural areas, maybe the same (since less students), I don't know.

Sounds like both methods have problems with inequality.

All I know is our taxes pay for everything in my district. Which I vastly prefer. I always wondered why people would pay for private school. Seems smarter to use that money to buy a more expensive house in a good public school district. You get to enjoy a nicer house, and later on, you can sell it, and get most/all of the money back.

But it sounds like in SOME states, you have to buy the more expensive house, AND donate thousands of dollars a year to get a good public school.

I would absolutely hate that system. In that case, it might indeed be smarter to live somewhere cheaper and pay for private school.

This has been an interesting eye-opening thread.
Yes, I would say that is pretty accurate. The extra tax money going to the poorer schools tends to go toward ESL classes, after school programs, etc.... so yes they probably get more of the tax money but I don't think their overall education is better. Plus, the best teachers, by and large, want to teach in the rich neighborhoods as it's easier. A sad reality of the system. Our district asks for $500 and only a small minority of people give it. 10% maybe.

letsgobobby
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by letsgobobby » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:54 am

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:15 am
HomerJ wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:19 pm
LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:30 am
We are in a very high net income area but still give $500 per kid to our school district foundation. It's for music, arts, sports, etc.
So weird. Our public school in the low-income Midwest somehow manages to have music, arts, and sports without parents donating extra money.
Exactly. And if it didn't, I'd be way more inclined to seek out options for my children to have access to these activities outside of school than to "donate" to an institution which has proven to be terribly inefficient in their use of resources.
Every region has different educational experiences to offer and it is difficult to judge another situation without understanding the social, financial, and political context in which it exists. One's ignorance about how other cultures/systems operate may lead one to make sweeping conclusions about how one would act which don't contribute helpfully to the question of what YOU do in YOUR school.

I think volunteering is a wonderful complement or alternative to cash donations, but since I don't have the time or interest in giving time, money works better for us.

Some of the things our donations go for:

In class school supplies, sometimes for needy kids

Extracurricular activities like cultural festival celebrations

Homework club, where teachers stay after school to provide formalized additional instruction on a walk in basis.

Summer training in program development for teachers, since our public school is a unique institution with a unique program that requires a specific set of skills and staff that are singularly focused and trained on building the program (language immersion).

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HomerJ
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by HomerJ » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:10 am

letsgobobby wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:54 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:15 am
HomerJ wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:19 pm
LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:30 am
We are in a very high net income area but still give $500 per kid to our school district foundation. It's for music, arts, sports, etc.
So weird. Our public school in the low-income Midwest somehow manages to have music, arts, and sports without parents donating extra money.
Exactly. And if it didn't, I'd be way more inclined to seek out options for my children to have access to these activities outside of school than to "donate" to an institution which has proven to be terribly inefficient in their use of resources.
Every region has different educational experiences to offer and it is difficult to judge another situation without understanding the social, financial, and political context in which it exists. One's ignorance about how other cultures/systems operate may lead one to make sweeping conclusions about how one would act which don't contribute helpfully to the question of what YOU do in YOUR school.

I think volunteering is a wonderful complement or alternative to cash donations, but since I don't have the time or interest in giving time, money works better for us.

Some of the things our donations go for:

In class school supplies, sometimes for needy kids

Extracurricular activities like cultural festival celebrations

Homework club, where teachers stay after school to provide formalized additional instruction on a walk in basis.

Summer training in program development for teachers, since our public school is a unique institution with a unique program that requires a specific set of skills and staff that are singularly focused and trained on building the program (language immersion).
You make a good point. Is the spending that transparent? That would certainly help, if I knew the money was being spent on the things you list.

Some people here say the money goes for extra teachers or desks (!!). That seems to me to be an indictment of their local or state government.

Someone mocked me for suggesting one talk to one's representative, but imagine if the government only fixed 70% of the potholes in the road, but people were asked to "donate" extra money if they wanted the potholes near their neigborhood to get filled in. Or if the police only responded to 70% of calls, but if you "donated" some extra money, they'd come to your neighborhood as well.

I think many of you would find that outrageous.

I expect certain services from my government, and decent public schools with enough seats and teachers is one of them.

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Edie
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by Edie » Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:27 am

We currently donate* between $4-600 a year to our kids' high school, but when they graduate (two years more for youngest), we'll either split the donation*, or alternate years, between the high school and the K-8 elementary school. Our property taxes are less than $2k a year, since people have been mentioning it.

*Our donations are mostly directed tax dollars, as we get a state tax credit for some of the donations (which we direct to a specific need on the tax credit donation form), and each year's return funds a piece of the next year's donation.

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jhfenton
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by jhfenton » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:14 am

We gave low three figures to our freshman's current public school this year, not counting quite reasonable athletic fees (basketball and track). It is the top-ranked high school in Ohio and ranked top 50 nationally. The school has an alumni foundation that provides support over and above what it gets from our large urban school district, particularly in terms of facilities. The school made a push for 100% participation in its fund-raising drive this year, but they did not make a big deal about the amount donated, because as a city-wide school the families run the gamut in terms of income. (It is a tested-admissions college-prep-only high school.)

In one sense, you can tell it is a public school, because it is crowded, not necessarily the class sizes, but just the buildings, even with an addition built in the last decade. 3,000 students across grades 7-12 is a lot in the space they have. But on the other hand, they have the most AP classes of any high school in the country--they offer Mandarin, but not AP Mandarin--and they have a staggering number of clubs and activities. (And if you start in 7th or 8th grade, you have to take 3 years of Latin.)

I should be amazed at what some of the folks on here donate, but I shouldn't be. The Bogleheads crowd is not typical in terms of income.

Our daughter will probably attend the same high school next year, but we're waiting for the test results to come back.

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mgullo
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by mgullo » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:02 pm

Luke Duke wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:59 pm
westrichj312 wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:26 pm
Zero also, as a matter of fact, I have never heard of anyone who donates anything to the public school system. I could think of a hundred other places that would be more deserving than that!!! OMG.
You don't see the value in having good schools? Do you have kids?
Even people without children or with children out of school benefit from strong public schools. It costs a lot to properly education and prepare children for the future, but it's more expensive not to. My $0.02 is that uneducated/under-educated generations of kids will turn into uneducated/under-educated generations of adults. That's not good for the sustainability of our nation.

My family spends hundreds of dollars each year towards public education and I hope we are able to continue or increase that amount.
Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something. | -Thoreau

daveydoo
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by daveydoo » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:43 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:10 am

Someone mocked me for suggesting one talk to one's representative, but imagine if the government only fixed 70% of the potholes in the road...
Mocker again. Lots of places lack the resources to fix potholes -- that's pretty much a national issue. You might have read about infrastructure problems. Many folks "fix" potholes themselves. I lost a tire in one last year and thought I did again this season -- but it still seems to hold air. Neighborhoods install their own speed bumps, etc.

Are you US-based...?
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

stoptothink
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by stoptothink » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:48 pm

mgullo wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:02 pm
Luke Duke wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:59 pm
westrichj312 wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:26 pm
Zero also, as a matter of fact, I have never heard of anyone who donates anything to the public school system. I could think of a hundred other places that would be more deserving than that!!! OMG.
You don't see the value in having good schools? Do you have kids?
Even people without children or with children out of school benefit from strong public schools. It costs a lot to properly education and prepare children for the future, but it's more expensive not to. My $0.02 is that uneducated/under-educated generations of kids will turn into uneducated/under-educated generations of adults. That's not good for the sustainability of our nation.

My family spends hundreds of dollars each year towards public education and I hope we are able to continue or increase that amount.
Nobody is going to argue with this, but how relevant is it? The real question is if your school district really is underfunded and if donations are really going to address the issues at hand. There is quite a bit of data to suggest there is little, if any, association between funding and educational outcomes. What makes you believe that your donations are going to directly result in better education or a better educational experience?

ThatGuy
Posts: 863
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by ThatGuy » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:58 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:48 pm
mgullo wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:02 pm
Luke Duke wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:59 pm
westrichj312 wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:26 pm
Zero also, as a matter of fact, I have never heard of anyone who donates anything to the public school system. I could think of a hundred other places that would be more deserving than that!!! OMG.
You don't see the value in having good schools? Do you have kids?
Even people without children or with children out of school benefit from strong public schools. It costs a lot to properly education and prepare children for the future, but it's more expensive not to. My $0.02 is that uneducated/under-educated generations of kids will turn into uneducated/under-educated generations of adults. That's not good for the sustainability of our nation.

My family spends hundreds of dollars each year towards public education and I hope we are able to continue or increase that amount.
Nobody is going to argue with this, but how relevant is it? The real question is if your school district really is underfunded and if donations are really going to address the issues at hand. There is quite a bit of data to suggest there is little, if any, association between funding and educational outcomes.
When my child was born, my boss at the time told me to stop worrying.

"Your kid is going to be just fine, the fact that you're worrying about how to be a good parent means you'll put in the effort for them to reach their potential."

Now, there are obvious knowledge differences in how to navigate various opportunities, but I'm not sure that a different school would make a difference for a child I know who has had a TV in the bedroom since age 3.
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

Irisheyes
Posts: 93
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by Irisheyes » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:02 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:43 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:10 am

Someone mocked me for suggesting one talk to one's representative, but imagine if the government only fixed 70% of the potholes in the road...
Mocker again. Lots of places lack the resources to fix potholes -- that's pretty much a national issue. You might have read about infrastructure problems. Many folks "fix" potholes themselves. I lost a tire in one last year and thought I did again this season -- but it still seems to hold air. Neighborhoods install their own speed bumps, etc.

Are you US-based...?
Yep. As well as having to contribute to our public schools to keep classes reasonably sized and to prevent further electives from being cut, our county roads are filled with potholes. We voted down a special, extra tax last year dedicated to roads (because there was no guarantee that the money wouldn't be diverted away from road repair).

In fact, the lastest plan is to "save" only the main routes through and around town, and to let those roads that are already "failing" crumble back to dirt.

The result of a combo of prop 13 together with ballooning pension contributions which divert our already hefty tax dollars away from fundamental services.

decapod10
Posts: 73
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by decapod10 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:24 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:10 am
letsgobobby wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:54 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:15 am
HomerJ wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:19 pm
LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:30 am
We are in a very high net income area but still give $500 per kid to our school district foundation. It's for music, arts, sports, etc.
So weird. Our public school in the low-income Midwest somehow manages to have music, arts, and sports without parents donating extra money.
Exactly. And if it didn't, I'd be way more inclined to seek out options for my children to have access to these activities outside of school than to "donate" to an institution which has proven to be terribly inefficient in their use of resources.
Every region has different educational experiences to offer and it is difficult to judge another situation without understanding the social, financial, and political context in which it exists. One's ignorance about how other cultures/systems operate may lead one to make sweeping conclusions about how one would act which don't contribute helpfully to the question of what YOU do in YOUR school.

I think volunteering is a wonderful complement or alternative to cash donations, but since I don't have the time or interest in giving time, money works better for us.

Some of the things our donations go for:

In class school supplies, sometimes for needy kids

Extracurricular activities like cultural festival celebrations

Homework club, where teachers stay after school to provide formalized additional instruction on a walk in basis.

Summer training in program development for teachers, since our public school is a unique institution with a unique program that requires a specific set of skills and staff that are singularly focused and trained on building the program (language immersion).
You make a good point. Is the spending that transparent? That would certainly help, if I knew the money was being spent on the things you list.

Some people here say the money goes for extra teachers or desks (!!). That seems to me to be an indictment of their local or state government.

Someone mocked me for suggesting one talk to one's representative, but imagine if the government only fixed 70% of the potholes in the road, but people were asked to "donate" extra money if they wanted the potholes near their neigborhood to get filled in. Or if the police only responded to 70% of calls, but if you "donated" some extra money, they'd come to your neighborhood as well.

I think many of you would find that outrageous.

I expect certain services from my government, and decent public schools with enough seats and teachers is one of them.
In our area, donations are mostly not taken by the school themselves, but by a nonprofit organization. They give a report as to projects they have invested in, and also break down spending a little bit based on categories. I’ve seen just the base level stuff. There may be more detailed breakdowns but I haven’t really looked to be honest. Looking at our breakdown as well as the comments so far, people probably wouldn’t be all that happy donating to it, lol.

(Edit: donors are considered “voting members”, so they get some say into how the money is spent)

Around half goes to “instructional support”, which includes things like teachers’ aides and such. Our kindergarten class is staffed at 1 teacher for 20 students along with one teachers aide per class I think. I don’t know how that compares with other schools. The aide’s salary is funded by donations.

Music classes are also provided for grades 1-5 by government funding, but the transitional kindergarten and kindergarten classes’ music program is funded by donations.

the librarian’s salary is also supported through the fund.

Not sure what else is included in the “instructional support” but that seems like a good chunk of change there.

25% goes to technology, upgrading/replacing computers in the computer lab, software, etc. classrooms have a couple iPads for other activities, things like that.

After that several smaller categories.

CedarWaxWing
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by CedarWaxWing » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:40 pm

300-500 per year with a request the funds be spent on something that is durable (to result in benefits to many for years hopefully) and provides an added value to the education of the students. It was nice sometimes to know that on occ 2 or 3 teachers would pool their funds and buy something a bit more costly that the school would not otherwise get, but that the teachers felt actually made their work more effective.

M

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steadyeddy
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Location: The Alps of the Midwest

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by steadyeddy » Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:00 pm

Irisheyes wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:02 pm
daveydoo wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:43 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:10 am

Someone mocked me for suggesting one talk to one's representative, but imagine if the government only fixed 70% of the potholes in the road...
Mocker again. Lots of places lack the resources to fix potholes -- that's pretty much a national issue. You might have read about infrastructure problems. Many folks "fix" potholes themselves. I lost a tire in one last year and thought I did again this season -- but it still seems to hold air. Neighborhoods install their own speed bumps, etc.

Are you US-based...?
Yep. As well as having to contribute to our public schools to keep classes reasonably sized and to prevent further electives from being cut, our county roads are filled with potholes. We voted down a special, extra tax last year dedicated to roads (because there was no guarantee that the money wouldn't be diverted away from road repair).

In fact, the lastest plan is to "save" only the main routes through and around town, and to let those roads that are already "failing" crumble back to dirt.

The result of a combo of prop 13 together with ballooning pension contributions which divert our already hefty tax dollars away from fundamental services.
:shock: I might have to start an offshoot thread about muni bonds.

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 11957
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by HomerJ » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:41 pm

daveydoo wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:43 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:10 am

Someone mocked me for suggesting one talk to one's representative, but imagine if the government only fixed 70% of the potholes in the road...
Mocker again. Lots of places lack the resources to fix potholes -- that's pretty much a national issue. You might have read about infrastructure problems. Many folks "fix" potholes themselves. I lost a tire in one last year and thought I did again this season -- but it still seems to hold air. Neighborhoods install their own speed bumps, etc.

Are you US-based...?
Yes I am US-based. My city has an on-line customer service website, where you can report potholes (and many other issues), and they get fixed.

I have actually done this, and the pothole was repaired 3 days later.

I'm not sure why you continue to live in an area that is so dysfunctional that you have to fix your own potholes, and where your students sit on radiators unless you pony up a couple thousand dollars a year.

I'm being serious here. Why do you put up with that?

Edit: My apologies... The above is a stupid question. No one sells their house, gets another job, and moves based on how well the town fixes potholes. The other option is to try and change the local government, but fixing a dysfunctional government is a LOT of work, if even possible, and it's hard to know where to start.

But I do say that you should know that not ALL cities or states are dysfunctional, and you shouldn't be so cynical. You should be outraged, not resigned to it, thinking that's just how it is everywhere. I'm not a naïve waif, who is talking unicorns and rainbows when I think taxes should pay for basic services. There are parts of the U.S. where it actually works that way.
Last edited by HomerJ on Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:19 pm, edited 5 times in total.

mgensler
Posts: 45
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by mgensler » Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:51 pm

We donated about $5,000 to our kids elementary school last year. We started a FIRST Lego League. We also volunteered around 100 hours.

letsgobobby
Posts: 11697
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by letsgobobby » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:53 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:41 pm
daveydoo wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:43 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:10 am

Someone mocked me for suggesting one talk to one's representative, but imagine if the government only fixed 70% of the potholes in the road...
Mocker again. Lots of places lack the resources to fix potholes -- that's pretty much a national issue. You might have read about infrastructure problems. Many folks "fix" potholes themselves. I lost a tire in one last year and thought I did again this season -- but it still seems to hold air. Neighborhoods install their own speed bumps, etc.

Are you US-based...?
Yes I am US-based. My city has an on-line customer service website, where you can report potholes (and many other issues), and they get fixed.

I have actually done this, and the pothole was repaired 3 days later.

I'm not sure why you continue to live in an area that is so dysfunctional that you have to fix your own potholes, and where your students sit on radiators unless you pony up a couple thousand dollars a year.

I'm being serious here. Why do you put up with that?

Edit: My apologies... The above is a stupid question. No one sells their house, gets another job, and moves based on how well the town fixes potholes. The other option is to try and change the local government, but fixing a dysfunctional government is a LOT of work, if even possible, and it's hard to know where to start.

But I do say that you should know that not ALL cities or states are dysfunctional, and you shouldn't be so cynical. You should be outraged, not resigned to it, thinking that's just how it is everywhere. I'm not a naïve waif, who is talking unicorns and rainbows when I think taxes should pay for basic services. There are parts of the U.S. where it actually works that way.
When I grew up in a nice midwestern town, I imagine (though don’t know) that parents did not donate. But my parents paid an income tax, and I don’t, so paying a few hundred or a thousand bucks per year is definitely a better deal for me.

daveydoo
Posts: 1564
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by daveydoo » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:18 am

HomerJ wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:41 pm

...You should be outraged, not resigned to it...
Yeah, we've been through all the Kubler-Ross stages :happy

Believe me, everyone works on it and hopes for the best. In the mean time, we gotta try to make it work -- hence the extra $.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

retired recently
Posts: 317
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Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Post by retired recently » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:39 am

Son went to a charter school for 3 years and we contributed about 1500 per year and felt it was a decent deal as the charter was much better than the local schools. Now he is in the local public high school which is not great and we have not made a general donation. We have made payments for the soccer and tennis teams that he plays on but smaller amounts as they tend to never be specific about the use of funds.

In the past, we have tended to disagree with the specific requests as it was for things like purchasing smart boards, etc. In our area, the focus tends to be on putting more technology in the classroom but from what we have seen they do not use it once they have it. The issues we have in the schools are that there is not enough of a focus on academics and the teachers are not great. I would happily pay more to the schools if they did a better job, instead we spend a significant amount supplementing son's education.

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