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Lesley Johnston of SPT was featured on this morning’s broadcast of CBC Radio’s “The Current” on the topic of school fundraising. Click here for a recording of the show.
Posted on 22. Sep, 2011 by admin.
Episode description provided by CBC Radio:
“School Fundraising – Lesley Johnston
It’s not obvious why a dunk tank would be an essential ingredient in a child’s education. But increasingly, fundraising events such as in Medicine Hat are at the core of school life. That’s because bake sales, raffles and casino nights can be very effective ways of generating money for school supplies, class trips or new playground equipment.
For some schools, fundraising can bring in tens of thousands of dollars. Take this new school in Calgary for example – a playground wasn’t part of the original plan for the school. Tiffany Voorsberg is a parent who fundraises for her child’s school in Calgary. We heard from her.
But not all school’s are created equally when it comes to fundraising. Schools in affluent neighbourhoods can bring in more money — often a lot more — than schools in poorer neighbourhoods. And how that gap should be bridged has even become an election issue in Ontario. We heard some thoughts on school fundraising from those on the provincial campaign trail in Ontario.
The debate over school fundraising is being further fueled by a new report called Public System, Private Money: Fees, Fundraising and Equity in the Toronto District School Board. Lesley Johnston is the principle author of the report. She’s also a research and policy analyst with the not-for-profit group, Social Planning Toronto. Lesley Johnston was in Toronto.
School Fundraising – Panel
For some thoughts on how the politics of fundraising plays out where they live, we were joined by two people. Heather Benna is the chair of the Parent Advisory Council at Lord Kitchener Elementary in Vancouver… she’s not speaking on behalf of the council though, just as a parent. And Diana Pollock is the Chair of the Parent Advisory council at Hastings Elementary in Vancouver.”
Posted on 20. Sep, 2011 by admin.
by Anita Elash
From Saturday’s Globe and Mail
Israt Ahmed, 44. Married with one adult child.
Occupation: Community planner
Neighbourhood: Lawrence Avenue and Kingston Road, Scarborough. A “thriving, very mixed community” with a large immigrant population. Designated a priority neighbourhood in need of development.
Transportation: TTC. Drives an “old” Toyota for grocery shopping and visiting friends.
Her ideal city: A place with “a lot of services for people from all cross-sections and opportunities for people from different socioeconomic groups to work together.”
Most important issues: Transit, poverty.
Which city services are most important to you and which ones do you think could be cut?
Why should I have to compare child care with senior services or snow shovelling? They all are important to me. The overarching issue here is poverty. People are working but are not making ends meet. A lot of people in my neighbourhood depend on child care because that allows them to go to work. They say, “if I lose my child subsidy, I’ll have to stay home and I’ll have to apply for social assistance.” So think of the burden that it will bring to our economy if we have to take these people out of the workforce.
Posted on 13. Sep, 2011 by admin.
As any parent of a school-age child knows all too well, today’s fundraising bears little resemblance to traditional bake sales or selling the odd box of chocolates. Now the requests for donations are never-ending, and the dollars demanded so large, that some parents find it easier just to write an annual cheque.
With fundraising getting ever more out of hand – hundreds of millions are now raised by parents and students in Ontario each year – it’s little surprise that there are renewed calls to ban all fundraising for educational extras. The problem, highlighted this week in a report by Social Planning Toronto, is the inequity of it all. The 20 wealthiest public elementary schools in Toronto raised $250,000 each over three years while the 20 neediest schools raised less than $7,000 apiece. That certainly challenges the notion that our public education system can provide all students, regardless of their background or family income, with the same opportunities.
Posted on 12. Sep, 2011 by admin.
A non-profit advocacy group in Toronto is calling for an end to private fundraising in public schools.
Social Planning Toronto says the ability of students in high-income neighbourhoods to raise money from parents gives them an advantage over students in low-income areas.
The principal of Kipling Collegiate in Toronto says his students don’t always get what they need for school because they can’t raise the money in their area.
Over three years, the 20 “least marginalized” primary schools raised 36 times the money raised by the 20 “most marginalized” schools, the group says in a report.
High schools rely more on fees, the report says, but the 20 richest high schools still raised 920 times more than the 20 poorest —$33,653 compared with $36.56.
Roger Dale, the principal of Kipling Collegiate in the west end, says many students at his school don’t get everything they need because so little cash is available through fundraising.
Posted on 12. Sep, 2011 by admin.
TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE
Ontario should ban school fundraising because of the “shocking” differences in amounts raised — but in the meantime Toronto’s public board should consider pooling such monies among schools to ensure fairness, says a report to be released today by Social Planning Toronto.
The report in part used data obtained by the Toronto Star through freedom of information requests.
“It’s quite shocking,” said Lesley Johnston, research and policy analyst for Social Planning Toronto, which is funded by the United Way, City of Toronto and Ontario Trillium Foundation.