Parent volunteers have raised a record-breaking $3.4 million to donate to Palo Alto's 17 public school campuses, the foundation Partners in Education (PiE) announced Tuesday.
"In these uncertain times, we are grateful to play a part in maintaining the educational excellence of our public schools," PiE President Elaine Hahn told the Board of Education in making the announcement.
PiE funds are raised district-wide and allocated on a per-student basis to all elementary, middle and high schools in the district.
This year's PiE donation was a 15 percent increase over last year's contribution of $2.9 million, which was a record at that time for the five-year-old organization.
At the elementary level, this year's contribution of $1.95 million will fund classroom aides, arts instruction and science enrichment.
Middle schools will receive $625,000 for student guidance, technology mentors and electives such as chorus, creative writing, public speaking and accelerated industrial tech. The funds boost the counseling staff, making it possible for counselors to stay with the same students throughout middle school.
An $825,000 donation to the high schools will pay for college and career counseling, student guidance and career-technology electives such as engineering, biotechnology and online Java programming.
Parent donations -- both in numbers and percentages -- increased throughout the district, while people who currently have no children in the schools contributed 63 percent more than last year, Hahn said.
"We want to thank everyone who donated, including the family that dug deep to give $50 to families who teamed up to get more than $400,000 in challenge grants together," she said.
Superintendent Kevin Skelly said, "PiE's generosity couldn't come at a better time, as uncertainties with state funding remain, making the partnership between parents, schools and our community even more important."