Post details: Parent Fundraising - How the Globe and Mail Got it Wrong

11/03/14

Permalink 09:06:37 am, by mleslie Email , 331 words, 199 views   English (CA)
Categories: Toronto updates

Parent Fundraising - How the Globe and Mail Got it Wrong

by Marshall Leslie (the owner of this blog).

On today’s front-page, the Globe and Mail carries an article under the headline: “Toronto school fundraising raises questions about equity in public-education”. The authors – who did not interview any parents actually engaged in fundraising activity – simply failed in their research.

Here is how the Globe and Mail got it wrong:
1) school generated funds are not the same as school council fundraising. They include money from a variety of sources unrelated to fundraising, like cafeterias
2) school generated fund reporting double counts and inflates school fundraising efforts, as transactions are recorded over again between school council and other school accounts
3) the amount of money raised by school councils is dwarfed by the amount that is transferred by the TDSB and the Ministry of Education for inner city school communities supported under the “Learning Opportunities Index” and “Model School” programs
4) the amount of money raised by school councils is typically a fraction of one percent of the cost of operating a school
5) the article focuses on elementary schools and ignores the long established secondary school tradition of one-time compulsory student activity fees – introduced long ago to the relief of parents who fundraised throughout their children’s early years. (In Toronto these are about $60 per student per year). Compulsory secondary student activity fees are the simple substitution for voluntary elementary school fundraising.
6) the article ignores the fact that the biggest school-based fundraising efforts aren’t for schools at all, but for societal objectives like fighting cancer. Some of these school-based campaigns will raise as much as $30,000 in a single day, in Toronto
7) parent fundraising in Toronto is actually at a low-ebb. In the past, parents raised money to pay for capital items like school heating systems.

Fundraising by elementary school parents is not a problem – it is a community-building response that fills a few simple needs. The real problem is TDSB staff who want to weaken school councils, and journalists who don’t do their research.

Toronto and Area Information Updates

Many Toronto schools are badly in need of energy retrofit, major maintenance and facility renewal. In some school communities additions are required and sometimes a new building. Currently, these projects are undertaken under the Province of Ontario's "Good Places to Learn" programme, in partnerships or special purpose organizations like the Toronto Lands Corporation.

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