Classrooms Throughout PPS to Benefit from Record-Breaking Fundraising by PPS Parents and School Communities

Posted on April 18, 2013 in Press Releases

PPS Foundation Announces Over $1 Million in PPSF Equity Fund Grants Powered by New Seasons Market  

Earlier this week PPS Superintendent Carole Smith released her proposed budget for the 2013-14 school year, which highlighted targeted investments in areas critical to student success. Assisting with aligned investments throughout the district is the PPS parent community, which raised a record amount in 2012, resulting in the largest pool of PPSF Equity Fund Grants in the 18-year history of the Portland Public Schools Foundation.

The PPSF Equity Fund Grants, managed by All Hands Raised, are based on a data-driven equity formula that takes into account key financial resources at schools, as well as the demographic profile of the schools. Once the equity formula is applied and a needs-based ranking emerges, the total amount of funds available is applied.

This year over $1 million will be awarded to 39 PPS schools, as well as five alternative programs. The awards range from $45,000 to $20,000 and will be used for academic achievement gains in 2013-14. In the current school year, 124 teachers and staff in PPS are supported in part or in full through monies raised by PPS parent-led fundraising.

An example of the kind of impact PPSF Equity Fund Grants have can be found at Vestal K-8, a grant recipient. The grant Vestal received for the current school year is helping to fund a Language Arts teacher and according to their principal, Susan Foxman, “This grant provides the extra literacy support to 7th and 8th grade students who are still sharpening their reading skills, helping them to enter high school as fluent readers and successful students.  In addition this investment has reduced discipline referrals this year for both grade levels.”

“We are grateful for the way that parents and families have filled the gap so many times for our schools,” said Smith. “Even as state leaders are stepping up, we are a long way from building back the programs our students deserve. And now, federal cuts pose new challenges. The fundraising that our parents do remains crucial and, through the equity grants, provides all students with the education they need to become our next generation of community leaders. Again, we are grateful for these efforts and our partnership with All Hands Raised.”

New Seasons Market provides critical support to the Portland Public Schools Foundation, resulting in 100% of the monies raised by parents going directly to support schools and classrooms. For more than a decade the New Seasons Cans for Kids and School Fruit programs have provided significant funding to support the Portland Public Schools Foundation and leverage PPS parent-raised funds.

Christine Barbour, Treasurer of the independent Lincoln High School Foundation and member of the All Hands Raised Board of Directors, said of this year’s awards, “The amount of work it takes to orchestrate the grass roots efforts by our parents is significant. From my vantage point as a parent volunteer and as a Board member I see first-hand how many hours are spent by numerous individuals to ensure our classrooms and our kids are supported. And we are lucky in this community to have New Seasons, which makes a tremendous investment to ensure that the money raised by PPS parents is leveraged to make the greatest impact.”

In 2012 PPS parents, through 42 Local School Foundations (LSFs), raised a record amount of money for their school communities: $3.68 million to support teaching and staff positions in their schools. Of that, one third was placed in the PPSF Equity Fund, which is managed by the Portland Public Schools Foundation, a division of All Hands Raised.

A complete list of the school rankings is attached, as well as the formula used to make these awards. For additional information, please contact Jeanie-Marie Price at, 503-234-5404 x 12, or 971-207-9269.

In 1994-95, on the heels of Measure 5’s cuts to local public education, the PPS School Board established the policy allowing parents to raise private funds to enhance staffing for their school through Local School Foundations. Recognizing that abilities and resources for fundraising vary between schools, the PPS School Board required that one-third of all monies raised (after the first $10,000) by local schools be set aside in a fund that is stewarded and distributed to high-need schools by the Portland Public Schools Foundation. Since its establishment, the PPSF Equity Fund Grant program has attracted national attention for its creative and collaborative approach to addressing disparities in school funding, having awarded more than $8 million in grants to schools in need.


2013-14 PPSF Equity Fund Grant Recipients and Formula