School Fundraising

School fundraising isn't just bake sales and raffle tickets any more. These days some elementary schools bring in tens of thousands of dollars ... with the same kinds of techniques you'd find in the not-for-profit world. And that has some parents worried that some schools are being left behind. As the school fundraising season is in full swing across the country, we look at revenue streams.



Part Two of The Current

School Fundraising - Lesley Johnston

It's not obvious why a dunk tank would be an essential ingredient in a child's education. But increasingly, fundraising events such as in Medicine Hat are at the core of school life. That's because bake sales, raffles and casino nights can be very effective ways of generating money for school supplies, class trips or new playground equipment.

For some schools, fundraising can bring in tens of thousands of dollars. Take this new school in Calgary for example - a playground wasn't part of the original plan for the school. Tiffany Voorsberg is a parent who fundraises for her child's school in Calgary. We heard from her.

But not all school's are created equally when it comes to fundraising. Schools in affluent neighbourhoods can bring in more money -- often a lot more -- than schools in poorer neighbourhoods. And how that gap should be bridged has even become an election issue in Ontario. We heard some thoughts on school fundraising from those on the provincial campaign trail in Ontario.

The debate over school fundraising is being further fueled by a new report called Public System, Private Money: Fees, Fundraising and Equity in the Toronto District School Board. Lesley Johnston is the principle author of the report. She's also a research and policy analyst with the not-for-profit group, Social Planning Toronto. Lesley Johnston was in Toronto.

School Fundraising - Panel

For some thoughts on how the politics of fundraising plays out where they live, we were joined by two people. Heather Benna is the chair of the Parent Advisory Council at Lord Kitchener Elementary in Vancouver... she's not speaking on behalf of the council though, just as a parent. And Diana Pollock is the Chair of the Parent Advisory council at Hastings Elementary in Vancouver.

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