CORE fundraiser at 11 percent of its goal

Schools hoping for a bump in donations this week

It's taken less than a month for the Pleasanton Partnerships In Education Foundation to raise more than $116,000 to help save school programs threatened by state budget cuts. All they had to do was ask for $150 per child.

"I'm very pleased," said PPIE spokeswoman Debi Covello. "It's been a very steady flow of donations coming in."

PPIE is hoping to raise nearly $1 million through its CORE (Community OutReach for Education) campaign to help pay for before- and after-school programs, along with math sections, reading specialists and counseling.

Covello said CORE is a joint effort involving PPIE, schools and parent groups throughout the district. She expects a big jump in donations now that spring break is over but is hopeful the community will donate as well.

Covello said the $150-per-child figure came from a recent survey of parents. It also asked parents what programs were important to them, and teachers and administrators gave input as well.

So far, more than $58,000 has been raised for elementary schools; more than $23,000 for middle schools; and nearly $30,000 for high schools, with an additional $5,500 that was donated but not earmarked.

The money will be distributed based on the total raised. For example, if less than $100,000 is raised for high schools, each school will decide where to spend the money. If $100,000 is raised, Amador Valley and Foothill high schools will each get $45,000 and Village High School will receive $10,000 for technology support.

If the total goal is reached, Foothill and Amador will get $123,500 apiece for tech support and $34,000 each for extra periods. Village would get $10,000 for tech support.

Pleasanton Unified School District Spokeswoman Myla Grasso said PPIE will continue to accept donations after the June 1 deadline but hopes the goals are reached before then.

"There would be final layoff notices if we don't meet the deadline," Grasso said. "The earlier the funds are received, the easier it will be to keep people in their jobs."

The school district has already cut $13 million from its budget and is looking at another $8 million in reductions for the upcoming year, a rate of $1,400 per student.

The CORE fundraiser suggests that parents contact their employers to ask for matching donations, and those who can contribute more are asked to do so to help pay for families that can't afford the $150 per child.

It's the second time in a year Pleasanton schools have tried fundraising to pay for programs. Last year, the "I Love Pleasanton Schools" campaign raised nearly $500,000 of its $2.8 million goal in eight weeks, Covello said. She added that trying to raise money can be difficult in the summer, when parents don't have as much day-to-day contact with the schools.

CORE donations are tax deductible and can be mailed in or dropped off at boxes that have been set up at each school. Online donations can be made through PayPal at or

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Like this comment
Posted by Elementary parents have not given much
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2010 at 7:24 am

"So far, more than $58,000 has been raised for elementary schools; more than $23,000 for middle schools; and nearly $30,000 for high schools, with an additional $5,500 that was donated but not earmarked."

Elementary schools are keeping all their programs. They did so through concessions, which included getting rid of the 7th period in high school.

They have only raised 58K - when you think about it, that is not too much. We have 9 elementary schools, with an average of 600 students or so each, that means:

Only 36 elementary parents have donated 150 dollars, or maybe we had more donating less.

See? You sacrificed the high schools for nothing. Elementary parents showed you last year that they are not willing to give. And now you have also alienated the upper grades by sacrificing their programs to keep elementary programs going (and look, few dollars coming from so many very vocal parents. I wonder how much, if any, that lady that suggested to punish the high schools so her 5 year old could have it all, has given?)

Like this comment
Posted by Sigh
a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 20, 2010 at 10:33 am

No...about 386 families have donated $150 (give or take since some may have donated more or less) for elementary. I have donated at my children's levels - I have given money to the teachers for the extras that cannot be afford to the students. I have purchased raffle tickets, gift wrap, cookie dough, magazines, you name it - all in the name of getting money into our schools. Next year if the CORE fundraising efforts are implemented again, I will donate more money instead of buying magazines I don't have time to read...cookie dough I definitely don't need to eact and gift baskets that I don't really want.

What happens next year? I don't see things getting better at the state level. More bad news for high school programs? I hope not!

Like this comment
Posted by Sad about the situation
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 22, 2010 at 1:54 pm

"No...about 386 families have donated $150 (give or take since some may have donated more or less) for elementary. "

That is about half the parents in only one elementary school. The thing elementary parents do not understand is that the concessions are paying for keeping things the same this coming year (2010-2011), but after that, there needs to be a source of income.

By having put grade levels against each other, that will not help if they want to pass a parcel tax or raise money to keep the elementary programs for next year.

My neighbor and I were talking this morning. He videotaped the board meeting when an elementary parent talked to the board about her kids (a 5 and a 3 year old), how this parent grew up in Livermore and went to Stanford, and how she suggested to make it tough on the upper grades, how she said AP classes were not required, etc. This elementary parent in my neighbor's opinion, represents the elementary community.

Those with kids in upper grades will get through, those with the elementary kids will have a tough time, given their way of thinking and how they have chosen to divide the community.

Good luck with the fundraiser.

Like this comment
Posted by Sandy Piderit
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 23, 2010 at 4:24 am

I don't think that parent represents the elementary community at Alisal. In my observation about half of the parents at Alisal also have older children in middle or high school, and they understand that over the past three years, schools at all levels have been affected.

I accept that others may have very different experiences, and my circle of contacts within Alisal is fairly small... perhaps only 20 families out of a total of about 300 per school? So my observations may not represent the whole of the parent group. I don't know if the other eight elementary schools are different in terms of family populations, or beliefs about what should have been cut.

When the current year's cuts were being considered, starting in January, I originally had the perception that elementary schools were being "targetted". However, after discussing that perception with two board members, and with several parents who also have older children, my perception changed. In the context of the cuts made in the three previous years, middle and high schools were roughly equally reduced in staff percentages.

Why do some commenters here believe that the grade levels were "pitted against one another"? How can we avoid inflaming that sense more in the future, and try to heal the damage it has caused in the parent community?

Those are the important long-term questions, in my opinion.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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