By Amanda Ford, parent
Submitted to Our Colorado News
October 10, 2013
As a parent of two elementary students, I am disgusted to learn that the DCSD’s fundraising arm, DCEF, has spent $50,000 to fund speaking fees to former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett. DCEF has funded at least two other educational consultants, Tony Wagner and Yong Zhao. How have these consultant expenditures directly helped our students or teachers? Yet, school funding has been cut, our fund balance grows, and our schools have to fundraise every year in order to provide basics, such as Art, Music, and Educational Assistants (EAs), to our students. The schools that are not able to fundraise for these basics must do without them. How is this acceptable?
The B.O.E. keeps touting that they are still getting great results from schools even though they keep trimming overall funding. Does the District know how much parents contribute each year so our schools won’t slip in performance? Six years ago, our school pledge drive raised about $18,000. Things are quite different now—our PTsO raises over $100,000 each year just to maintain programs that principals, parents and teachers feel are vital to our school’s success. Parents know that if we don’t raise these funds, these programs are cut for our kids.
I now participate in numerous fundraisers, from pledge drives to the annual auction—spending way more than a few years ago. And, I am just one of several parents who must do this. Parents are not going to let the school slip by losing specials and Education Assistants. Parents must continue to open their checkbooks. So, when I hear about $50,000 going to a speaker out of DCEF funds, I wonder if we are on the same side; the side of the teachers, students, parents and tax payers.
We need to get DCSD back on track.