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 www.ppie.org or www.pleasanton.k12.ca.us.