Parent and community volunteers have raised a record-breaking $4.4 million to donate to local public school campuses, the foundation Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE) announced Tuesday.
The sum -- raised from more than 4,500 parents, community members and local businesses -- is $1 million, or 29 percent, more than the amount raised by the group last year.
PiE's gift will fund classroom aides, science and art specialists in elementary schools; student counseling, teacher coaches and elective enrichment in middle schools; and college and career counseling, student guidance and technology education in the high schools.
The funds are allocated to each campus on a per-student basis.
"This grant demonstrates a community-wide commitment to preserving Palo Alto's high caliber schools," PiE President Elaine Hahn said.
"I am tremendously grateful to our donors -- and enormously proud of PiE's more than 100 volunteers."
Superintendent Kevin Skelly accepted the donation on behalf of the school district.
"In these tough statewide economic conditions, donations to our schools via the PiE education foundation fill many gaps and keep our schools well-rounded and competitive," Skelly said.
Donations from PiE comprise more than 2 percent of the district's $160 million operating budget this year.
The new donation will provide $2.35 million to Palo Alto's 12 elementary schools and Young Fives program for classroom aides, science enrichment and arts instruction, including the Spectra Art program.
The three middle schools will receive a combined $850,000, supporting electives such as chorus, creative writing, public speaking, accelerated industrial tech as well as the counseling program.
Gunn and Palo Alto high schools will receive a combined $1.2 million for college and career counseling, student guidance and career-technology education. The funds include support for the student-run LinkCrew orientation program at Paly and career-tech electives such as engineering, biotechnology and online Java programming.
Since its inception in 2004-05 PiE has donated more than $18 million to Palo Alto schools.