Parent volunteers will be out in force from now through Nov. 18, drumming up donations for Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE), an independent foundation benefiting Palo Alto public schools.
This year's PiE fundraising goal is $3.9 million, the highest ever.
Several families have teamed up to offer a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $250,000 for any donations received between Nov. 9 and Nov. 18.
PiE raises money district-wide, and proceeds are allocated on a per-student basis to each elementary, middle and high school. The foundation also awards grants to teachers for classroom projects.
Last year, the record-breaking $3.4 million PiE raised from 4,000 donors was targeted to a range of school needs, including elementary classroom aides and science enrichment, middle school counseling and electives and high school guidance and career-technology electives.
"In this economic environment, the PiE Education Foundation is a necessity not a luxury to preserve an outstanding education for our children," said foundation board president Elaine Hahn.
"We urge parents, community members and local businesses to give to PiE as generously as they can."
PiE's "suggested donation per student in family" this year is $800. That compare with a $1,000-per-student "ask" by the Los Altos Educational Foundation; $2,000 from the Las Lomitas Education Foundation; $1,500 by the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation, $500 by the Mountain View Educational Foundation and $1,000 by the Mountain View-Los Altos High School Foundation, PiE stated.
PiE's $3.4 million contribution makes up about 2 percent of the school district's $162.4 million operating budget for 2011-12.