Just Over $1 Million in PPS Parent Equity Funds Awarded
Portland, OR (03/16/16) – At last week’s PPS all-principals meeting, All Hands Raised announced the PPS Parent Equity Fund Awards for the 2016-17 school year. These awards, to the highest needs schools in the district, are made possible by PPS parent-led fundraising through local school foundations, which in 2014-15 totaled $3.4 million.
Just over $1 million of these PPS parent-raised funds was awarded to 44 PPS schools and five alternative programs that serve PPS students. The awards range from $35,000 to $12,000 and are to be used to enhance the educational achievement goals of the school. All Hands Raised uses a data-driven formula, created in partnership with PPS, to determine these awards.
“I want to send a heartfelt thanks to our PPS families who have done so much to raise funds that support their children’s schools, as well as schools across the district through the PPS Parent Equity Fund,” said PPS Superintendent Carole Smith. “The equity fund grants are an essential statement about our values as a community and play a critical role in building strong schools across the city.”
These PPS Parent Equity Fund investments provide a wide variety of support, including mentoring programs; educational assistants in reading and math for students who are below benchmarks; culturally specific student advocacy and support; and support for teachers and staff to reduce inequities in student discipline.
“The Parent Equity Award that Lane received this year has funded what I believe to be the most transformational work in which I have ever engaged,” said Lane Middle School Principal, Brenda Fox. “We use the funds to improve Lane’s school climate and instructional strategies. As a result we are seeing a dramatic increase in student attendance and decrease in student exclusion from school.”
PPS Local School Foundations were established to raise funds to support teaching and staff positions per the PPS Board policy that was adopted in 1994. All Hands Raised continues to implement and steward this policy today. Today there are currently 42 active local school foundations, whose parent communities are raising critical funds for their buildings, and contributing one-third of what is raised (after the first $10,000) to the PPS Parent Equity Fund. The $3.4 million raised by parents in 2014-15 brings the total raised by PPS parents through local school foundations just in the last five years to almost $18 million.
“We are continually humbled to manage this nationally acclaimed private fundraising model for our public schools,” said All Hands Raised CEO Dan Ryan. “The PPS Board was brave in 1994 when they ensured that private funds are shared across the district.”
In the current school year, there are 341 PPS teachers and staff that are funded in-part or in-full because of PPS parents and their efforts to support kids. As has been true for over two decades, 100% of the parent-raised funds support classroom instruction because All Hands Raised manages the PPS parent-led fundraising and the PPS Parent Equity Fund at zero cost to parents or the district thanks to the generous support of New Seasons Market, the Demorest Family Foundation and the Roy Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.
All Hands Raised brings together six Multnomah County school districts with leaders from the county, city, nonprofits, higher education and business to help organizations to improve educational outcomes for all Multnomah County children and youth from birth to career.