Increased asks by school foundations

Our school district foundation has increased its ask this year due to the state budget cuts.  Our family has always given the "ask amount" in past years even though the reported rate of families contributing the "ask amount" in our district is about 40%.  We are leaning toward not giving the increased ask and sticking to the regular ask this year at least until we learn whether school is in session as usual in the fall and what programs are in danger of being cut.  It seems crazy for us to give more for the "extras" when we hear that school might continue to be remote next fall, or even if it opens it will do modified schedule and disallow all the extra enrichment and special assembly and other activities the donated money is supposed to go to.  Plus if there is a risk of school continuing remote we will want to use the extra funds for virtual tutors and childcare as both parents are working and unable to help with homeschooling.  My question is whether other school foundations have asked for increased contributions to the fund due to the state cuts and whether they were open about what that money is going to be used for (as our school foundation is not transparent on that), and whether there has been any indication if schools are re-opening in the fall fully, in  modified way, or at all. 

Parent Replies

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Has there ever been a time when schools didn't need money?  We are living in uncertain times.  My partner and I both work in education and we have been told for certain fall classes will be online.  In our last staff meeting we were told to expect online classes to continue into the spring.  If your school foundation is not transparent and does not give a financial accounting I would not give.  Given the uncertain situation we are all in right now I would wait to see what's going to happen.  Our administrations have already told us there will be layoffs and all non-core programs will be cut.

When our kids were in school we didn't give anything to the educational foundations.  Once we saw what programs were being funded and realizing our kids were not in any of those programs or befitting we stopped giving.  This is not to say we didn't give.  We did.  We either purchased something our kids' teachers needed, paid for an activity or fund something that our kids would benefit from.  When the foundation had their telephone pledge drives we would say we already gave in other ways.  

Don't' feel guilty about it.  We are living in uncertain times and hold on to your money for now.  You can always give later.

If you have the ability to give more, please do so, and do so soon. There are many unknowns about the upcoming school year, but one thing is clear - state funding will decline.  Whether your school is holding physical classes or doing online only in the fall, it will need more private funding in order to provide a quality education.  If classes are in session, there will be a need for funds to restructure the classrooms, increase cleaning schedules, provide PPE to teachers and students, etc. If classes are only online, more funding is needed for quality equipment for teachers and for helping teachers transition to effective online learning.  One of my children's current teachers had an ancient Chromebook when classes suddenly switched to online learning. Luckily, the parents were able to pool funds together to help her get a better computer, which means that all students in her class have a better learning experience. Now imagine that problem multiplied across all teachers in the district.  If everyone with the ability to pay more waits to see what they will "get" for their particular child in the fall, it only guarantees that what we all get will be less.  So please give early and as much as you can, so that schools have a better sense of what resources they have and can allocate them effectively before the school year starts.  If we all work together, we can ensure a better education for all of our kids.

Also, if your employer matches funds for nonprofit donations, this is also a great time to make use of that benefit, to maximize funds for the schools.