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

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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.

Let’s Implement a Thoughtful Approach with Solutions That Preserve Current Funding Mechanisms

  • First, we must involve the whole PPS community in this conversation. This proposal would impact every school in PPS and every school community should have a chance to have their voices heard.

  • Do not limit the amount of money School Foundations can raise and contribute to the Fund for PPS. This hurts everyone.

  • Be creative. Let’s stop talking about cuts and start talking about how we can increase funding for our public schools:

    • Grow the Fund for PPS into a powerhouse fundraising entity that harnesses the generosity of our local community, corporations, and foundations. These private dollars could provide funding to schools without School Foundations or equity funding from PPS.

    • Before we make any changes to School Foundations, we must ensure the Fund for PPS is bringing in sufficient funds. This concept is untested, and it will take time to grow the Fund for PPS so it can fill the substantial funding gaps that will result from eliminating the flow of School Foundations funding into the district. So, until then, we must keep the Foundations running and make a gradual and thoughtful transition so we can: 1) Keep donations flowing into the district; and 2) Retain the trust and engagement of our donors who are passionate about supporting their local schools. When PPS demonstrates the Fund for PPS is meeting the needs of all schools, we can begin to reframe the behavior and mindset of our donors. 

    • While we’re working on building the Fund for PPS into a funding powerhouse, we can take the following actions to ensure our Local School Foundations remain successful in filling our funding gaps with private dollars from the community:

      • Encourage mentoring between school foundation volunteers

      • Increase support, resources, and training from Fund for PPS staff

      • Increase local business engagement

      • Execute joint regional fundraising events

  • No cuts. No reduction of FTEs at schools with Local School Foundations. Any plan eliminating, reducing, or capping Foundation-funded positions must be accompanied with a budget line item that would keep these positions intact. Based on FY 2022 year, this would take more than $4 million dollars.

What You Can Do

1) Contact the PPS School Board: Email them and ask them to consider our five requests: 

2) Send a public comment to the Board:

3) Contact the PPS Leadership: Email them and ask them to consider the five things listed above.

4) Sign the Petition:

5) Send this website to parents at your school. Ask them to take action.  

6) Alert your school's leaders and PTA