How much do parents donate to BUSD elementary school?

We've just started in BUSD with a happy kinder.  I want to be an active and supportive parent but I'm totally confused by the fund-raising efforts.  The school seems to be constantly fund-raising.. $40 here for supplies, $100 for field trips, $100 for farm & garden, etc...  I'm honestly tired of the endless fund-raising and just want to write one check or scheduled monthly checks.  Soooo... my question is.. how much is a good annual donation or monthly donation?  We're pretty middle of the road income-wise.  We are saving a bit because he's no longer in a private pre-school but would also love to save some more for his college fund.

How much do you donate to your BUSD elementary school?  How much is enough to be a solid public school supporter? 

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Our elem school tries to raise $400/student per year. Your employer may match so look into that. Usu the school pta is a 501c3. I agree it feels like a lot nickel and diming. 

I know it's frustrating and tiresome, but as a PTA leader, I have to tell you that these fundraisers are what pay for any extras at your child's school - the stuff we took for granted when we were kids. There's no art, music, dance, aftercare without literally tens of thousands of dollars each year. So. How much is the right amount? I don't know your circumstances, but I think I end up donating about $200 each year to the school either in money, goods, and time. (Well, in time, I probably send thousands, so let's leave time out of it, yeesh.) But you should talk to your PTA about having this option at the beginning of the year! The thing is, you'll still hear the requests, so that might annoy you, but you can ignore them without guilt. Now that I think about it, maybe you should see how this year goes and add up all the different fundraising efforts, and then you'll know for next year -- since each school and PTA is so different. 

Haha. I hear you. We are parents of a kindergartener that started at BUSD. We have given what seems like a ton of money already as well. Keen to read some replies.

At the beginning of the year, most of the BUSD elementary school PTAs will do a capital fund drive, and they will say how much they spend per student per year. It ranges from $350 to $500 for the BUSD elementary schools. Just give what you can and don't worry too much about it. There are many different fundraisers during the year because they will (hopefully) raise money from different revenue streams--you aren't expected to participate in all of them. For example, there is usually the capital fund (which raises money from the students' families), the Read-a-Thon/Walk-a-Thon (extended family and friends), the auction (local businesses donate items), and some schools do a raffle (the kids sell tickets to the community at large). If you can afford it, give more than the per-student amount--many families do. There are also many more families who just give $100 or $50 per year, or even less. We are lucky that BSEP funds so much at BUSD schools, so it's really all good, whatever you can donate.

I’m interested in seeing the replies to this. Our school PTA calculated how much they need for each student to maintain the programs at the school that are either funded by the PTA or at risk of being cut for lack of funding from other sources and they published that amount as $350 per student. We chose to donate 3x that in a lump sum - basically fund 3 kids at the school. We basically ignore most other fund raisers except the Read-A-Thon after that.

It's all relative to how much expendable income you have. For each child, we set aside one month's preschool tuition for elementary school donations each year – auctions, etc. were on top of that. But volunteering in school is equally important to the cash donations. At the elementary school level, teachers really do need the extra support, and it sends an early message to your kids that you value education – and action always speaks louder than words. I still remember very fondly my time in my kids' classrooms and getting to know their teachers and classmates. As your child enters middle school and beyond, your physical presence in the school will no longer be needed or encouraged to the same extent. Take advantage of the time now, when the teachers and the kids still really want you there.

We have two kids in one WCCUSD public elementary school and donated $850 last year, not counting non-deductible payments for supplies or whatever. (Just completed our taxes!) I think we probably should have done $1000, $500 per kid, based on our income which was $100K+. As an active PTA member, I think it's best to donate in one lump sum right at the beginning of the school year; it helps planning for the year.

We donate $1000/year per kid in elementary school; less for our kid in middle school (maybe $300?) since we wind up having to pay for other school-related things and they don't seem to provide any supplies.

So this might not be applicable because I'm in the peninsula, but our school asks for $1,500/child donation for their main fundraiser plus additional contributions for the smaller fundraisers such as read-a-thon, walk-a-thon, raffles/auctions, etc.  I usually end up giving a total of about $2,000/year for everything.  We do volunteer very little in the class since both parents work a lot and I rarely volunteer to bring stuff since I know I'll forget, so giving a donation on the higher side is our way of making up for it.  I think if I did more volunteering and gave more time, we might have given less in money, so everything is relative.  I'm jealous of the low asks in the BUSD schools since $1,500+ asks per child or family are pretty common here and the push to give that and more is intense.