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4 Replies to “Higher Funding or Progressive Funding?”
In the world of Option B, you would (continue to) see massive infusions of non-governmental funds into the wealthy school districts (PTAs, etc.), which would bring us right back to where we started. But I’m intrigued by the idea of a society that still made that strong a statement about equity.
On average, US schools spend about $14k per pupil in public funds. I’m not sure how much you are seeing in PTA funds, but typically even at more affluent schools, we see those amounting to a bump of less than 2%. Even 2% would mean raising about $280 per pupil in donations, or making over $150,000 at an auction (which would be a healthy auction). I guess I’m to sure that the big money is in PTA funds for the vast majority of even wealthy schools… which is part of what makes this all so tricky.
Not to pick on my friends in Seattle, but here are budget documents for one elementary school PTA: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/911005216
Those report annual expenditures of $400-500K, for a school with 553 students (https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/911005216).
These funds are supporting actual salaried positions, not just extra programs (https://coees.seattleschools.org/get_involved/p_t_a).
This admittedly extreme example is what I’d expect to become the norm under the equity-driven funding model you proposed above, if not through an existing avenue like PTAs, then through something new. This has, I think, interesting implications for how we think about your original question.
Apologies for the typo on my second link, which should direct here: https://washingtonstatereportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/ReportCard/ViewSchoolOrDistrict/101045