Friday, January 4, 2013

Rich school, poor school: How much money PTAs raise

How much money do PTAs raise, and how do they spend that money?  Here's 2010-11 financial data for PTAs at Alvarado, Alice Fong Yu, CIS at DeAvila, Claire Lilienthal, Clarendon, Grattan, Lafayette, Miraloma, Peabody, Ortega, Rooftop, Sherman, Starr King, and West Portal, taken from their IRS Form 990s.

The Schools

Alvarado Raised $370,924, spent $341,768 in 2010-2011 (Raised $330k, spent $300k if PTA overhead and fundraising excluded)

520 students in 2010-2011. Cash reserve $384k.
  • $62k Science Program: $24K for science coordinator and 11K for supplies, $17K for tech search party fundraising event, $2.5k for computers, $6K for garden
  • $56k Literacy program for 100 students, including $20K for writing program, $28K for tutors, $5K for parents literacy night, $1K for library collection.
  • $55k Art, music and drama
  • $14k Behavioral therapy with sandtray
  • $63k Playworks PE/yard coaches
  • $2kYard equipment/duty
  • $6k Afterschool
  • $4k Antibullying
  • $52k School furniture, supplies, equipment, teacher requests
  • $3.5k PTA meetings/membership
  • $20k PTA expenses

Alice Fong Yu (EIN 77-0439991) Raised $284,750, spent $237,456

552 students in 2010-2011. $444k cash reserve.  Overall decline in fundraising, from over $300k from 2006-2008.

  • $54k China-US Exchange Program (8th grade goes to China for 2 weeks)
  • $7K Field Trips
  • $20K Instructional materials
  • $8K Afterschool program enrichment
  • $41K "Office expenses"
  • $107k "Other" - not itemized for the 2010-11 form. Includes  enrichment classes, garden classroom, art classes, paraprofessional stipends/tutoring
For comparison, in 2009-2019, AFY expenses included $30k for fundraising and $2k for admin as well as:
  • $4k Chinese New Year Parade
  • $31K Instructional supplies
  • $7K Prof development
  • $38k Technology
  • $16K afterschool program
  • $53k China-US exchange program
  • $44K Paraprofessionals (tutoring)
  • $20k Garden
  • $6k Field trips
  • $4K Sports
  • $12K Middle school student hall
  • $3K Classroom supplies

CIS at DeAvila (EIN 94-3216902) Raised $122,921, spent $78,053

Cash reserve $112k. Impressive since CIS only had 154 students in 2010-11.
  • $11k Art, music, dance prgroams, music instruments, Chinese NY Parade
  • $21k Literacy level Guided Reading Program: English and Chinese books for K-1
  • $33k Playworks PE teacher, yard monitor
  • $9K School supplies
  • $2k PTA meetings, school events, teacher appreciation

Claire Lilienthal (EIN 94-2954256) $260,766, spent $247,586

672 students. Cash reserve(assets) $139k. Fundraising stable over the last 3 years. The afterschool program for K-2  has a separate nonprofit ID (EIN 94-2864013), income $292k and expenses $277k for 68 students.
  • $13k Depreciation (PTA-purchased sound equipment, classroom computers and a copier)
  • $47k Teacher support
  • $40k PE
  • $39k Outdoor education
  • $19k Facilities maintenance
  • $25k Classroom supplies ($1000 per teacher)
  • $64k Other (not itemized)
For comparison, in 2000-2010:
  • $13k Arts
  • $1K Books
  • $23K Classroom supplies
  • $13K computer consultant
  • $8k computer supplies and insurance
  • $2k copy machine lease and maint
  • $28k depreciation
  • $7k Finance charge
  • $9k Library books
  • $11k Office Assistant
  • $15k Office expenses
  • $48k Outdoor education
  • $46k PE
  • $13k School assemblies and events

Clarendon JBBP (EIN 94-2783933) Raised $192,721, spent $125,923

565 students in JBBP and Gen Ed combined. Cash reserve $224k + $329K in mutual funds (now that's forward thinking! Perhaps they're building an endowment?) Revenue stable at this level for last 5 years.
  • $70k Consultants
  • $30K Teacher funding
  • $13K Supplies
  • $3K Liability
  • $1K Computer maintenance

Clarendon Gen Ed (EIN 94-3205047) Raised $185,489, spent $170,145

565 students in JBBP and Gen Ed combined. Cash reserve $325k. Revenue stable at this level for last 5 years
  • $119k Enrichment "art, music, PE, computer lab, foreign language, and library"
  • $23k Classroom funds
  • $11k SFUSD funding
  • $5k Copier
  • $1k Art supplies
  • $1K Computer supplies
  • $1K 4th grade graduation
  • $1K Italian

Grattan (EIN 94-2967138) Raised $172k, spent $180k after PTA admin/fundraising expenses and fee-based afterschool program excluded (Reported  revenue $354,679, expenses $342,954*) 

381 students.
  • $16k Garden program
  • $165K Classroom support, reduced classroom size by funding an additional teacher, field trips, supplies, library materials, computer lab, enrichment. Includes 
    • money paid directly to SFUSD for salaries for an additional full-time teacher to reduce classroom size and a technology instructor  
    • $8K Computer Lab
    • $20K Field trips
  • $12K PTA Expenses
  • $74k Afterschool program - revenue $85k
  • $86K Fundraising expenses(eScrip, Grattan Gear, Spring fundraising events)

Lafayette (EIN 94-6172049) Raised $238,630, spent $191,625

524 students in 2010-11. Cash reserves $140k. Steady upward 5 year trend from $100k raised in 2007.
  • $136K Curriculum Support
  • $14K School furniture and equipment
  • $6K Science Grant to teachers
  • $5K Garden coordinator
  • $5K School Musical
  • $3K Art in Action
  • $2K Copier maintenance
  • $6K Field day, Halloween, newfamily events, multicultural night, carnival
  • $7K Office supplies
  • $1.5K staff appreciation
  • $400 STAR testing snacks
  • $600 Stop, Drop and Go
  • $1K PTA dues

Miraloma (EIN 94-6184034) Raised $326,875, spent $173,304

361 students. Reserve $318024. Strong upward trend from $213k in 2006-07 to $337k last year.
  • $50k  USF Counselors (mental health therapists)
  • $23k  computer literacy program
  • $21k  Art, theater, dance and music instruction in classroom
  • $5k  After-school tutoring
  • $7k Classroom supplies
  • $12k Garden/environmental education
  • $3k Field trips
  • $7k Professional development
  • $12k Snack program (part of garden: organic locally grown snacks)
  • $4k grounds/building

Ortega (EIN 94-3190930) Raised $61,481, spent 54,144

288 students in 2010-11. Cash reserves $58k.  Fundraising jumped from $5k in 2006 to $55k in 2008, $67k in 2009, $61k 2010-11.
  • $17k Instructional supplies
  • $9k Arts, dance,theater, music
  • $15k "Hosting of opportunities for community building for students and their extended families." (events?)

Peabody (EIN 71-1004773) Raised $200k, spent $104k after PTA admin expenses and fee-based afterschool program excluded (Reported revenue $249,031 spent $151,238)

252 students.
  • $70k Literacy specialists
  • $10k Playworks (Sports4Kids)
  • $7k Artists in Residence
  • $4k Music classes
  • $4k Outdoor garden classes
  • $1.5k Opera guild
  • $5k Classroom supplies
  • $3k School events
  • $39k After school program - revenue $43k
  • $8k PTA meetings, bank fees, office expenses, travel, depreciation

Rooftop (EIN 23-7349936) $247,023, spent $244,030

594 students.

  • $92k Art education
  • $62k Garden education, landscaping and greening of campus
  • $23k Computer lab instruction, equipment support and maintenance
  • $20K Classroom support: afterschool tutoring, professional development, classroom supplies
  • $18k Sensory Motor
  • $12K Library for grades 5-8
  • $10K Outdoor education

Sherman (EIN 94-3351039) Raised $286,269, spent $254,642

422 students. Cash reserve $124k. Strong, steady upward trend from $58,717 raised in 2006-07.
  • $139k paid to SFUSD for salaries/benefits for art and music teachers and for a mental health consultant able to do expressive play therapy.  
  • $59k Prof development
  • $26k Classroom supplies
  • $12k art/garden/sports program
  • $4k Library
  • $1.6k Sandtray therapy/music/science
  • $10k Accounting and PTA office expenses

Starr King (EIN 13-4317993) Raised $91,263;  spent $95,788

345 students. Cash reserve $59k. Stunning, steady upward 5 year trend from just $1021 raised in 2006.
  • $72k Classroom supplies, education programs, arts including dance and theater
  • $14k School events, cultural enrichment
  • $7k Classroom equipment

West Portal (EIN 94-3069763) Raised $199,622, spent $139,589

574 students. Cash reserve $315k
  • "Books, classroom supplies, computers and software, copier, field trips, aseemblies, art programs"
  • $64k Art
  • $50k Enrichment
  • $8k Staff support
  • $6k Instructional expenses
  • $2K Recognition
  • $1k Spring musical
  • $2k Camping
  • $2k Equipment rental
  • $3k T-shirts and sweatshirts (fundraising?)
  • $3k operating expenses

Search for the schools name and the phrase "EIN" online. Once you have their EIN, you can use it to look up their IRS 990 forms at or at the State of California's Charity Research Tool. You'll have to create a login (free) at guidestar to see the Form 990s. 

Organizations that raise less than $50,000 a year are not required to file a Form 990 with detailed financial information, only a "Form 990-N" that says they raised under $50,000.  The IRS has a search page for nonprofits that filed a Form 990-N.

When comparing PTAs, the totals reported to the IRS can be misleading.  For example, if a fundraising banquet grossed $30k but the food/entertainment cost $20k, the PTA only raised $10k.  However, they might report revenue of $30k and expenditures of $20k to the IRS.  Grattan is a great example. They report raising about $350k, but actual school spending was $180k after excluding PTA overhead, fundraising expenses, and the fee-based afterschool program.  

To see how much money goes to the school, here are some useful places to look:
  • Form 990 Part III Item 4: Program Expenses
    • Schedule O, Supplemental information, often has detailed information
    • Schedule I will have money paid to SFUSD, for teacher salaries etc.
  • Form 990 Part IX, especially line 24, Statement of Functional Expenses : Contrast column B (program expenses) with column C/D (management/general and fundraising expenses)
  • Form 990 Part VIII:Program Service Revenue. This tells you how much money is coming in from fee-based programs
If you want calculate the money raised per student, enrollment by school is listed in the SFUSD School Site List and Summary file at the SFUSD RPA Data Center.
I'm not an accountant or bookkeeper. Your mileage may vary. Please share any information you find!


  1. Very interesting information! Thank you for sharing.

  2. The disparity in fundraising is astounding! I'm a little confused by "cash reserves." I thought PTAs had to spend their funds annually.

    Regardless... seeing that Ortega raised 61K vs Grattan's 354K... just wow.

  3. This is pretty amazing.

  4. This is fascinating. I had no idea this information was available. Thank you Geek Mom!!

  5. It's still shocking to me that PTAs have to pay for supplies and other basic items that are part of everyday instruction. I can't believe we live in one of the most wealthy cities in the world and our school district can't afford to pay for necessary classroom supplies and other basic items. Given the premium that most residents in San Francisco put on education, it's surprising people have not thought of some way to support the school district. It's as if SFUSD was in a much poorer area of the country where the population did not believe in the benefits of a fully supported public education system. San Francisco has one of the highest percentages of people holding advanced degrees in the country but our schools don't have enough money for supplies. It doesn't add up.

  6. It's amazing that Grattan and Miraloma raised over 300,000 each and they are only K-5 schools. It seems like the K-8 schools should be raising at least that much as they have 3 more grade levels.

    1. Grattan and Miraloma have less of a disparity in diversity and Socioeconomic status compared to say Rooftop. I think that might effect the amount each family donates and participates in fundraisers.

  7. Geek mom could you tell us where one goes for the data? Curious to see the numbers for other schools..

  8. For comparison purposes, it probably makes sense to calculate per capita numbers.

  9. 12:57, it's partly a matter of demographics. Grattan and Miraloma are the two whitest schools in the SFUSD, 57-58% white, and white students are a much more affluent group. For example, only 19% of white 2nd-5th graders qualify for free/reduced price lunch, compared to 65% of Asians, 79% of African-Americans, and 83% of Latino students.

    In contrast, Lilienthal is 35% white, Rooftop 27%, and the other K-8s schools all <15% white. So they have a less affluent base to draw from.

    SFUSD School Site and Summary (school enrollment by ethnicity)

    Free/reduced lunch percentages are based on the % of 2nd-5th grade CST test takers who were economically disadvantaged, by ethnicity.

    1. Yes, Grattan and Miraloma are very white schools. So is Alvarado. I think it's 40% white or somewhere around there. There are also many middle and upper-middle class Chinese families in San Francisco and it seems that AFY, CIS, and West Portal are able to raise a fair amount of money from their communities.

      Hopefully, middle-class families will continue to participate in city-wide programs, but I could also imagine a scenario, with the more neighborhood based assignment system, where middle-class families stay within their neighborhood schools and do not apply for the city-wide programs. I could see middle-class families forgoing Rooftop and some of the Spanish immersion programs where there is already a larger percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch for wealthier neighborhood schools like Miraloma, Grattan, West Portal, Sunset, Clarendon GE, Peabody, Sherman, etc. As Sunnyside, McKinley, Sloat, and Glen Park also become more white and possibly more affluent, they will also become of interest for other middle-class families. From looking over this year's bloggers lists, the lists are longer and there does seem to be a slight trend toward neighborhood schools. It will be interesting to see how the city-wide programs fair over the next decade. In addition, city-wide programs are the only ones with bus service from poorer areas. At this point, bus service to most neighborhood schools has been eliminated.

      With the new assignment system and less bus service, more people, especially middle-class families, will probably stay within SFUSD, at least for elementary, as they are assigned to schools closer to their homes with programs that they like. With the old system, middle-class people simply fled SFUSD. In the future, we might have many more robust schools with a much higher over-all level of parental involvement and be left with 10-15 elementary schools where the over-all population is fairly poor. It seems the district is really focusing on schools with students who are poorer. Maybe this strategy of retaining middle-class families in the majority of schools where they fund enrichment programs and supplies via the PTA while SFUSD targets schools where families do not have the resources to fund PTAs will work out for the best (the 30 Million Dollar 2012 Promise Neighborhood Grant is an example). Time will tell, but we are definitely in a new era of public schools in San Francisco. I think SFUSD really wants the middle-class families to stay within the system.

  10. 2:48 and 9:48, thanks for the feedback. I added more detail about how to get the data, and moved the info to the bottom of the post. I also added the 2010-11 enrollment for each school.

  11. We have a budget of $7 billion plus, meaning about 9,000 per resident. There is almost nothing spent on many residents, so that means we are spending a lot on some. We only give $30 million extra to schools. We should be giving an extra 250 million at least. We have fewer kids, a rich downtown, tourism taxes, but we make PTAs pay for supplies. Those in power don't place a high priority on education. The school board should fight for more funding for our children. There are still over double the number of kids in public as private schools, but those kids don't seem to be a high priority for those in power. Much more important is training 300 new police for a City with a relatively low crime rate, retaining healthy San Francisco health care despite a new federal health care plan, paying for sex changes through that program, paying for homeless who come here homeless from other cities, jailing marijuana dealers and other low level criminals. Everything gets higher priority than our schools.

  12. It is demographics driven, clearly, and suggestions that schools pool their money, or that "wealthy" schools partner with less wealthy schools have been rejected over the years.

    My *wow* comment above is not so much out of surprise, as much as how clearly these statistics explain why some schools are "good" and some are "not so good." It's not about the teachers, or the basics provided by the district -- it's what the parents can afford (or can manage to raise) above and beyond the basics. AND how well the other kids in the schools perform on tests.

  13. Thanks PTA Mom. What about the source for info about each schools PTA dollars and how spent (or saved)? Is that available somewhere as well? This could be hugely helpful for individual PTAs as they consider best practices, or by those who want to call to attention the discrepancies you note. Thanks!

  14. 9:43, the source of this information is the IRS Form 990, filed by each PTA annually and available to the public online. THe last part of this post describes how to view a PTA's Form 990.

  15. Thank you SFGeekMom! From 9:43

  16. I think the new system will get us more enclaves of excellence than the old one. Crucially, the saving grace of the assignment system is that IF parents from disadvantaged districts are with-it enough to apply to these schools, they get preference over the rich white "locals." The problem is they don't, but that was a problem with the old system, too.

  17. This data is, sadly but realistically, much more relevant than SFGeekMom's over-emphasis on test score subgroup data from her other posts. My kids were first at a school that was perenially in the less-than-$30,000 category for fundraising, and then we moved to a school that raised well over $100,000. The differences -- particularly during this period of budget crisis -- are real and profound. A parent group that is raising in the six figures is simply going to offer far more services for the public school, and that translates into significant benefits for the students.

  18. We are am interested in donating significant money (probably at least $10-15 K per year) to my child's public school PTA - we both have advanced degrees and stable jobs. We also want to help our public schools after reading this. We have also decided not to choose private education as we were very successful through the public system. We are looking for an academic challenge with social emotional learning and some art resources/enrichment. We appreciate that the school will not teach our child, we will. Given this, what are the best schools to list on the Lottery on the Southeast of the city? Which PTAs are most creative with funds?

    1. I would heartedly recommend Junipero Serra Elementary near Holly Park. There is a small, especially hard-working, dedicated PTA. And a fabulous principal in Eve Cheung. The school struggles in PTA fundraising, but since it's a small, neighborhood school (~200 students) the money truly makes a difference.

  19. @3:28 I think the problem isn't so much that families in disadvantaged districts aren't "with it" enough to apply to the sought after schools, as those families who are really targeted by the programs don't really have the means to take advantage of them. Take, for example, a family in Potrero, where both parents are employed in jobs as, let's say, a CNA at SFGH, and a clerk somewhere. Their jobs have limited flexibility time-wise. It's also possible they don't have a vehicle, or have only 1 which is driving one parent to a more far-flung job. How would those parents *get* their child to Rooftop? DiFi? Miraloma? (There has been a yellow bus from Potrero to Clarendon, so there are exceptions...) Let's say they choose West Portal, and the city bus works out OK for them because mom/dad can take the kids on the 48, then MUNI downtown. West Portal never has enough after school slots, and there's no low cost/no cost option. Now what?

    And, I agree wholehartedly with 3:39's comment. My child's school fundraises well, but not startlingly so. They have dance, art, and various field trips. (In SFUSD kids cannot be asked to pay for field trips, so they have to be entirely funded by some source, usually the PTA) Oh, and families routinely donate their "old" tech (older iPads, for example), because we *have* old tech to donate. We also have enough parents with flexible jobs (or a stay at home parent) that people volunteer in the classroom, and we have plenty of parents to go on interesting field trips with the classes.

    The curriculum is the same. Every class gets pencils, paper, white board markers, books, etc. The "extras," which most of us agree shouldn't BE extras, are paid for out of these PTA budgets.

  20. If you want to see which schools have more money you need to look at the whole budget not just the money raised by PTAs. If you were to do that, Geek Mom, you would see that many schools which some consider poor actually allocate 2 to 3 times more per per pupil than the sc-called rich schools. That is a direct result of state and federal categorical monies and grants which dwarf the amounts PTAs raise in most cases. Please be even-handed when painting your rich school-poor school tableau(sp?).

  21. I agree with you DonK.

    For a quick breakdown per capita, I came up with the following:

    1st. Miraloma @$905 per student
    2nd. CIS DeAvila @$798 per student
    3rd. George Peabody @$793 per student


    1. Wow?

      I have not done a thorough analysis of the proposed SFUSD budget, but there are disparities in funding that are not made up by PTA's. Here are a few examples (numbers based on site budgets):

      Sanchez ES: $9,631 per student
      Paul Revere ES: $8,342 per student
      Charles Drew ES: $7,113 per student

      compared with:

      Miraloma: $6,468 per student.
      Peabody: $6,435 per student

      So, the $800-$900 per student raised by PTA's at schools like Miraloma and Peabody may sound like a lot, but it barely equalizes the disparate funding.

      And yet, even with it's PTA success, schools like Miraloma (like so many others) do not have basics like a gym teachers. The PTA money is spent on items that rightfully should be paid by the school district (not just supplies, but salaries, and professional development).

      We all deserve great schools - our kids deserve great schools. The attempt to ostracize the successful schools in the district by turning PTA success into a class issue does not solve the problem. The fact is, we are all in poor schools compared to the rest of the nation. Successful PTAs should be applauded, and held up as examples. Balkanizing the parents in the district solves nothing especially when the real problem is inadequate funding overall.

  22. Miraloma is suppposed to be losing that extra money soon. In the next year or so. They used to be a failing school so they got extra from the government. Why do CIS and Peabody get so much?

  23. 1:40, I think the commenter at 11:51 was just calculating the per student amount raised by the PTA's, not related to any state or federal dollars the schools might receive. On a recent tour at Peabody, the Principal said that their PTA sends out a letter of the beginning of the school year asking every family to give $750. Or maybe it was $750 per child? Not sure. Then they also have additional fundraising events throughout the year.

  24. This unfortunate and constant talk about excessive funds at certain well-to-do schools is not giving parents an accurate understanding of school finance. It is stoking the flames and presenting a picture of inequity that unsuspecting parents want to believe is true. But the fact is the richest schools in the district are mostly those ones with the lowest API scores. They are the recipients of virtual all governmental funding that is made available above and beyond WSF allocations. And remember, those allocations are weighted to give underperforming student more. If you happen to be an at-risk student that SFUSD says they care about but attend a "better" school, you are screwed under SFUSD's funding formula because you don't get jack.

    My older child attends one of these "better" schools. His math class has 41 students and his science class has 40 and there's even more in music and PE. Compare that to the underprivileged middle schools averaging 15 in a class. His school has water that runs yellow from rotten pipes but, hey, don't you dare to help out schools that score over 800. Some here will have you believing that helping higher performing schools is like taking the food out of the mouths of underprivileged children. So SFUSD goes on throwing money at underperformance with precious little to show for it. And every year middle class families see their children starved out of the better schools and they run for the hills.

    SFUSD says it is closing the achievement gap with this money, but how can that be when Ed Trust West says that we are rock bottom in California when it comes to the gap? Recent API data shows blacks, Latinos and whites all with 12% growth last year. Some one explain how that represents a narrowing of the gap? If anything the opposite is true because absolute growth of 12% is incrementally more difficult the higher up the scale you go. So white growth is actually outperformance and represents and increase in the achievement gap. Asian growth of 5% may account for some narrowing since Asians are 33% of the district. But only SFUSD would celebrate lowering the performance at the upper end. But then what you can say about an administration that celebrates its new healthier school meals by throwing an ice cream party?

  25. I couldn't say about other schools but here in the Sunset we've lots of teachers feeling unhappy about the way the district administration puts its money to work. There a general feeling that this part of the town is getting the short end of the stick. And it breaks my heart to see students in classes of 35 and 40.

  26. For those who would like to see how much money is allocated to each school, the SFUSD Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 is at

    A summary of allocation by school is on pages 58-60, and each school's SFUSD budget starts on page 179.

  27. Wow, umm, I am a mom( yes I send my child to the school I work at) AND a teacher at one of the most under served high trauma/high poverty schools in San Francisco, and I can tell you we do not have any more paper for this school year, We also have no PTO/PTA giving us gift cards to spend on our rooms, nor the district gives us money. And I can tell you there are 22 kids in my room, and three of them have such high trauma that they scream all day and have to be sent out so the other 17 may learn. Oh by the way, when 10 kids bomb the test it takes the whole village down. When you go home and are beaten raped and tortured, who cares about tests anyways? Please do NOT think for one minute, that the schools on the East side have it hard. Please I can tell you, the teachers here on the WEST side are bad ass, and are some of the best teachers you will ever meet. Before you go judging the teachers or think they are rolling in money, come spend a day in Hunter Point/Visitation valley, and see what we are up against. The district does NOT care about us, and we are pleading to get more funds for another counselor, another body to help us with the trauma we face every day.

  28. 35 students are in our 4th and 5th grade classes too btw, and I can tell you when I have visited Sunset, it was a different world....from where I teach. Do not believe me? Come on down. Oh and Don, my students have to let the water run before they drink it..I had a guy tell me well, let it run, so the brown will get out of the pipes. Nice. And Don, ( I have not seen the "15" students you are talking about, but the kids in the Hunter Point Visitation Valley, have come from such unimaginable lives, you would not believe it, so be happy your child has a dad like you in his corner, and stop putting down the kids who have such horrible lives. Maybe because of the title one status they get some more books, but most of them don't have families like yours to go home to. Peace

  29. When looking at budget data, it's important to remember that higher-performing schools tend to have teachers with longer tenures. This means that SFUSD spends more on salaries, on average, for teachers at higher-performing schools. I don't think that the individual schools' budgets are adjusted for differences in teacher salary based on seniority. It also means that when SFUSD sends out pink slips during budget crises, lower-performing schools with newer teachers are disproportionately affected.
    Also, comparing federal funding to PTA dollars is difficult because federal monies are restricted to specific uses. Schools don't have much discretion in how they are spent, in contrast to PTA funding.

  30. Dear SFGeekMom:

    Thanks very much for the data. I am very curious about how Grattan is able to fund additional teaching staff. At Lafayette, we looked into this issue at the end of last year when pink slips were looming from additional budget cuts, and we were told that we would not be able to fund teaching staff. Would you mind reporting on this topic to help us all understand how that works?

    To the rest of the posters, please keep in mind that PTA fundraising is a proxy for parental involvement in the school. Scientific research shows that parental involvement has a high correlation with school success. So money raised by the PTA is a far better predictor of likely success than extra funds from the District, not because of the money itself, but because it reflects parental investment in education and oversight. Those dollars are not the same as district dollars by a long shot.

    Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful participation in this thread.

    1. Wish I could tell you! I just did a websearch for the relevant documents. Looking at Sherman's 990, I got the impression that the money raised by the PTA for teaching staff is paid to SFUSD.

      Your best bet may be to have someone from Lafayette's PTA contact Grattan's PTA, or the principal at Lafayette could contact the one at Gratton, to see how they did it. The names of the PTA officers are on the IRS Form 990s.

      When I was looking at how PTAs from different schools completed the Form 990s, it did occur to me that PTAs would benefit by having their officers get together to share knowledge and experience across schools.

    2. I believe when our PTA did this we gifted PTA money to the school site's budget. So the principal/school site council could have used the money however they chose, but the understanding was that it was for a teacher. I'm not a PTA officer though so agree it's better to contact those who know for sure.