Comments on: Why charitable donations to public schools are OK http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/09/06/why-charitable-donations-to-public-schools-are-ok/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: dtc http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/09/06/why-charitable-donations-to-public-schools-are-ok/comment-page-1/#comment-48046 Mon, 09 Sep 2013 20:34:41 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22453#comment-48046 >if the parents are conscious enough (and well off enough) to pay the extra $2k then that by definition means that they are involved in other aspects of their children’s lives <

Like feeding their children.

Like buying their children basic school supplies.

The situation is really sad.

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By: dtc http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/09/06/why-charitable-donations-to-public-schools-are-ok/comment-page-1/#comment-48045 Mon, 09 Sep 2013 20:33:54 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22453#comment-48045 >Therefore, if rich families donate to their own school districts, their donations might not spill over to lower-income families.<

In some of the districts here in Silicon Valley, the donations go directly to a school. (One of the key differences between a PTA and Parents’ Club). So even within a district, schools can have significantly different resources.

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By: K.MacKenzie http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/09/06/why-charitable-donations-to-public-schools-are-ok/comment-page-1/#comment-48044 Mon, 09 Sep 2013 16:49:52 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22453#comment-48044 @Sunset_Shazz “One more point: one could argue that educating the most talented children results in the greatest public good / externality effect – the public schools that educated Richard Feynman or Norman Borlaug or Alan Turing have benefitted all of us, rich or poor, incalculably.”
Excellent point. However you mentioned this in reference to private education being a public good as much as public education. I wouldn’t say private education is a public good because it doesn’t necessarily encourage the best and brightest; merely those with the most money living in the best neighbourhoods.
You mention “someone being more educated or knowledgeable does not leave less available education or knowledge for the rest of us”
While true in theory, it’s not the education that’s in limited supply, but it’s more about the pot of money available for education. More funding to private schools and less to public (by virtue of private donations to private schools being made instead of private donations to public schools) would, in my opinion, have the opposite effect of increasing overall education and benefitting everyone. I imagine it to be sort of like an archaic aristocratic model, where the best and brightest can only get the education they need to get ahead if they happen to have come from the right background. All the Alan Turings and Richard Feynmans born in the inner city are unable to get the education they need to thrive, and so do not realise their potential which would otherwise help us all.

In my view you should have public schools set up for the sole purpose of encouraging the best and brightest, rather than relying on the private sector to do this.

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By: GregHao http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/09/06/why-charitable-donations-to-public-schools-are-ok/comment-page-1/#comment-48043 Mon, 09 Sep 2013 14:58:15 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22453#comment-48043 left unsaid in the the discussion between hillsborough and east palo alto is the level of parental involvement. if the parents are conscious enough (and well off enough) to pay the extra $2k then that by definition means that they are involved in other aspects of their children’s lives — be it shuttling them to various after school activities or hiring private tutors. Learning doesn’t just happen within the four walls of the school.

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By: weiwentg http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/09/06/why-charitable-donations-to-public-schools-are-ok/comment-page-1/#comment-48042 Mon, 09 Sep 2013 14:34:25 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22453#comment-48042 That would be good for everyone if rich and poor families lived in the same school district. But do they? I am inclined to think not. Therefore, if rich families donate to their own school districts, their donations might not spill over to lower-income families.

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By: winkyshark1932 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/09/06/why-charitable-donations-to-public-schools-are-ok/comment-page-1/#comment-48041 Mon, 09 Sep 2013 10:07:10 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22453#comment-48041 “…2 out of 3 children are hungry and don’t speak English?”

Worse, if anybody were a teacher, would they want to work in class where 2 out of 3 children have PARENTS that are hungry and don’t speak English?! That kind of domestic environment probably negate any (if any) positive development brought by a good teacher.

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By: dtc http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/09/06/why-charitable-donations-to-public-schools-are-ok/comment-page-1/#comment-48039 Sun, 08 Sep 2013 07:20:32 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22453#comment-48039 ALSO, it’s worth pointing out that 96% of students in East Palo Alto are eligible to receive Free or Reduced Price Lunch. 96%!!

69% of students in Ravenswood District’s elementary and middle school students are English Language Learners (ELL).

realist50 asks “The broader question nationally is why we don’t get better value for school funding”

Hm… if I were a great teacher, would I rather be working in Hillsborough where parents are buying teachers for classrooms? Or do I want to work in Ravenswood where 2 out of 3 children are hungry and don’t speak English?

Vicious cycle for poor kids in East Palo Alto.

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By: dtc http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/09/06/why-charitable-donations-to-public-schools-are-ok/comment-page-1/#comment-48038 Sun, 08 Sep 2013 07:15:52 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22453#comment-48038 realist50 comment above completely misses the point of Felix’s post, or is unaware of how funding works in these schools.

The spending numbers cited are true.

But it ignores the impact of Parents Clubs. You see, in Hillsborough, Palo Alto, Cupertino, and other “top” Bay Area school districts, parents are expected to pay an mandatory donation for $2000.

I kid you not – when I went to a financial advisor, I had to fill out questionnaire about my income and expenses. On the page for Children Related Expenses, right near “After School Programs” was “Mandatory Donations”. It’s a well known thing here.

So, parents give $2000 mandatory donations to the Parents’ Clubs that run the school. NOT PTA – those are regulated and have rules.

These Parents’ Clubs then go HIRE TEACHERS directly into the school. The district doesn’t have enough money for a Mandarin teacher? No problem – the parents hire one directly.

In short, there’s a set of “dark pools” of money that rich school districts have access to.

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By: realist50 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/09/06/why-charitable-donations-to-public-schools-are-ok/comment-page-1/#comment-48036 Sun, 08 Sep 2013 00:02:18 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22453#comment-48036 The Ravenswood City Elementary School District – which includes East Palo Alto – spends approximately $13k per student, which puts it in the top 25% of school districts in California. Test scores are in the lowest 25%.

http://schoolspending.apps.cironline.org  /county/san-mateo/district/ravenswood-c ity-elementary/

Hillsborough spends a bit more per student – $13.5k – and test scores are in the top 25% in the state.

http://schoolspending.apps.cironline.org  /county/san-mateo/district/hillsborough -city-elementary/

The broader question nationally is why we don’t get better value for school funding, which has skyrocketed over the last several decades – even when viewed on a per pupil, inflation-adjusted basis – http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp  ?id=66 . K – 12 public school spending on that basis has nearly doubled since 1980.

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By: y2kurtus http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/09/06/why-charitable-donations-to-public-schools-are-ok/comment-page-1/#comment-48035 Sat, 07 Sep 2013 23:55:09 +0000 https://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=22453#comment-48035 My daughters highschool has a recording studio, 350 seat theater, and athletic facilities that would make most DIII colleges jealous. All of it paid for exclusively by the dreaded 1%. The plaques are everywhere, everything from the theater seats to the scoreboards are named in someones honor.

Our town is meaningfully below both the state and national averages for per capita income and everyone benefits from the giving of the well off. Our school system is a source of pride for the entire community. If you’re looking for a really cool place to relocate or retire put Brunswick, ME on your list of places to spend a weekend!

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