In response to Alex Rocha's June 14 article in the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Online — "Fundraising taking on bigger piece of pie" — we would like to clarify the fundraising situation in the Palo Alto high schools, as we see it. There are "more hands out," as the Partners in Education president said, and this is why:
Fundraising is targeted to more specific student interests than it is in elementary school because high school is a safe place for students to differentiate themselves and explore their own interests.
Before Proposition 13, band, sports, drama, choir, student publications and the like were funded by taxpayer dollars. These activities contribute to the total high-school experience and are essential for student growth. That is why PTSA (Parent-Teacher-Student Association) and the various booster groups stepped in to fund them.
These funds are spent in the same year they are raised. The PTSA budget is posted at each high school for the public to see. That is why we believe there will always be a place for PTSA fundraising in the Palo Alto high schools.
This year, for the first time ever, Partners in Education will be fundraising in the back-to-school packets with PTSA and the booster groups. This was done intentionally so parents could have the full picture of how essential their dollars are and can choose where their dollars will go.