Should wealthy PTAs have to share funds with poorer schools?
November 19, 2017

It was dark and rainy in most of Seattle.

But inside a glittering event space, hundreds of middle-aged, mostly-white Madison Park residents were dressed for summer: Men in bright seersucker suits and saddle shoes. Women in sherbet-colored silk dresses and matching hats with plumage.

Party-goers at this Kentucky Derby-themed auction clinked mint juleps and waved paddles for luxury ski vacations and weekend getaways to Napa. “Wow! A 6,500-square-foot estate!” the tuxedoed auctioneer called out. “Six bedrooms! Six bedrooms!”

This is how the McGilvra Elementary School PTA raised much of the $422,000 it made last year. That money pays for reading and math specialists, art and music teachers.

“You’re either in a good school district, which, thankfully, we are, and a good school, [where] parents can hopefully fund some of these things, or you end up going to a private school,” said Tamara Suess, a parent at McGilvra. “So it’s a fine line I think we’re walking at our school.”

Suess wants her kids to be in the public school system. Ideally, she said, they could take a foreign language, too. “Because more and more, we’re competing with private schools, and if we don’t offer a lot of the things that private schools offer, then we lose students and potential money.”

Read the whole story at KUOW.

 

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