A report alleging the California public school FINANCIAL SYSTEM is broken is picked up far and wide, notably in the New York Times.
Some key points in the Summary Report I want to comment upon:
Voluntary contributions of money, and more importantly, time also add to variation in resources across districts. While monetary contributions to schools get substantial attention and are large in a small number of schools, on average they account for less than two percent of funds to schools for operating expenditures (Loeb, Grissom and Strunk, 2007/GDTF). Brunner and Imazeki (2004) find that monetary contributions averaged less than $40 per pupil in 2001. On the other hand, voluntary contributions of time appear to be substantial... Principals in higher income communities reported substantially more frequent use of volunteers to provide clerical work, adult supervision at morning arrival or playground duty, tutoring, and help running sports activities than did principals in poorer communities. ... Overall the difference in
volunteer time between low-income and high-income schools appears to be a greater source of resource disparity than are contributed dollars. (Emphasis theirs.)