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Part of a special report on education inequality in San Francisco. A version of this story ran in the winter 2014 print edition.
PTA fundraising at public elementary schools in San Francisco is wildly uneven, with only a small number of schools raising enough money in recent years to avoid the worst effects of state budget cuts. Based on Public Press research and conversations with experts in the field, here are some options for addressing uneven access to funding for San Francisco’s public elementary schools.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS, PRIVATE MONEY: Examining Education Inequality in San Francisco
The San Francisco Public Press examined tax records from PTAs and compiled 10 years of budget and academic data from the city’s school district. The research focused only on elementary schools to make easy comparisons. Our research shows that while a small number of schools were able to avoid the worst effects of recent budget cuts, belts continued to tighten at schools with more economically disadvantaged students. Read more online: sfpublicpress.org/publicschools
Other Stories in This Series:
This team project was produced by reporters Jeremy Adam Smith, Emilie Raguso and Justin Slaughter, with research assistance by Jeffrey Thorsby, Jason Winshell, Adriel Taquechel and Shinwha Whang. Tim Redmond, editor of 48hillsonline.org, inspired the project’s focus. We are indebted to EdSource.org for advice on education policy. Thanks to Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton at the U.C. Berkeley Greater Good Science Center for data analysis. This article was made possible by a grant from Rebecca Moyle and Tyler Lange, and donations from hundreds of other Public Press members.
Buy a copy of the newspaper | See also: Five Ways to Encourage Giving to Disadvantaged Public Schools (Greater Good Science Center) | Radio: Jeremy Adam Smith interviewed on KPFA’s “Morning Mix” | KQED News | KQED’s hour-long talk show “Forum” with Dave Iverson
Jeremy Adam Smith writes about the science of prosocial emotions and behaviors for the University of California, Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center. He was a 2010-2011 John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University and a 2013 fellow with the Institute for Justice and Journalism, which provided support for his education coverage. He is also the author or coeditor of four books, most recently “Are We Born Racist?” and “Rad Dad: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Fatherhood.”
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