Five Reasons Why Eliminating or “Reforming” Local School Foundations Hurts Every Student in PPS
1. Cuts millions in funding for our PPS schools
In 2020 Local School Foundations raised $4 million dollars in private funds for PPS schools, 30% of which went to the Fund for PPS. These extra fundraising efforts resulted in an extra $1.2 million in private dollars for 53 high needs schools.
Eliminating Local School Foundations would result in drastic cuts in funding for every school in our district.
2. Disproportionately impacts our highest need schools & communities
Schools in PPS with Local School Foundations typically have some of the highest enrollments and class sizes in the district. The ability for these Foundations to fund positions outside of the PPS budget by raising private dollars allows PPS to direct public funding to other schools.
If Local School Foundations are eliminated, PPS will be forced, by its own rules and teachers contract, to fund positions with public dollars at these Foundation schools with high enrollments and class sizes. These positions and these funds will need to be reallocated from the higher need schools, cutting their existing public resources.
3. Further divides our school district into silos of “haves” and “have nots”
PPS has a stated goal of building community across schools and neighborhoods to foster ownership of all schools in our city, and we wholeheartedly agree with this goal. Unfortunately, this proposal would exacerbate the individual school silos that exist today by eliminating the only policy mandating distribution of privately raised funds across every school in PPS. Schools with Local School Foundations currently contribute .30 of every $1 raised to the Fund for PPS, making local private dollars available for other schools across the district.
4. Creates larger class sizes, cuts critical supports for teachers
Our communities are still recovering from some of the most difficult school years in PPS history. This proposal would eliminate specialists, educational assistants, librarians, and other critical staff at the worst time. It would result in larger class sizes across schools with and without Local School Foundations.
5. It’s Unrealistic and Irresponsible
Proponents of eliminating Local School Foundations continue to make the faulty assumption that donors to individual school foundations will continue to donate to a district wide fund distributed across every school. Any seasoned fundraiser will agree that this approach is simply unrealistic. This is why grassroots fundraising is so successful: local communities want to support their own local causes and are much more likely to give money locally versus district wide. Eliminating $4 million dollars in funding with no clear plan to replace it is irresponsible.
What We Stand to Lose
The above chart shows the massive impact eliminating Local Foundations will have on teachers and students, as presented by the Fund for PPS in a 22-23' LSF Report.