An independent, parent-led foundation that raises funds for Palo Alto's public schools Tuesday, Aug. 7, announced a 2012-13 fundraising goal of $4.75 million.
Palo Alto Partners in Education (PiE) will solicit contributions from parents, community members and businesses to support classroom aides; specialists in reading, math, science and the arts; student guidance; college and career counseling and an array of electives.
Launched Tuesday, the campaign will run through January 2013 with the resulting gift to the school district to be announced in March.
In 2011-12, PiE donated $4.4 million to the Palo Alto Unified School District, comprising nearly 3 percent of the district's total operating budget of approximately $160 million. Of that amount, $2.35 million went to the district's 12 elementary schools and Young Fives program, $850,000 to the three middle schools and a combined $1.2 million to Gunn and Palo Alto high schools.
"Palo Altans have a unique opportunity to preserve the academic excellence of our public schools," PiE Board President Terry Godfrey said.
"Working together, we can fund the kinds of programs we want for our children but that the district can no longer afford given difficult economic circumstances. We can increase the number of caring adults on our campuses, provide hands-on arts and science, and a rich array of electives for kids to explore, and ensure that more counselors are available to support all our kids."
School superintendent Kevin Skelly said, "In the face of ongoing state budget cuts, donations to our schools through PiE have become a bedrock of support for PAUSD.
"Every student in the district benefits from PiE dollars, which are allocated on a per student basis to provide funding at each school."
Last year PiE received donations from more than 4,600 school families and community members. Families received direct appeal letters in their back-to-school packets.
Since its inception in 2004-05, PiE has donated nearly $20 million to Palo Alto schools. For more information, go to www.papie.org.