“You need to bring in a box of Kleenex and 24 pencils and so on…things that were always part of the basic education package.”
Jo Loss is president of the California Parent Teacher Association. She says parents are taking on an added burden because of dwindling state resources. Over the last two years, state lawmakers have cut billions from education funding to try and tackle the budget deficit.
But Loss says parents aren’t alone in trying to fill the gap.
“Schools are getting very sophisticated. There is a lot more online fundraising going on like online auctions.”
Districts are also working to increase business support.
But…Loss cautions schools not to go too far in looking for funds.
“Things that, personally I find disturbing, where you’re selling seats at graduation for a premium...”
…or selling spots in the school parking lot.
These kinds of activities widen the opportunity gap between schools in affluent neighborhoods and those in low-income areas, she says.
Ultimately, it’s up to parents to hold state lawmakers accountable, says Loss…to make sure schools have enough money for basic supplies.