Sunday’s front page Seattle Times article addressed the disparities sustained by different levels of parent-teacher association (PTA) fundraising. Madison Park’s McGilvra elementary is featured as one extreme, a public school in a wealthy area with a highly effective PTA. In McGilvra’s case, their PTA raises upwards of $350,000 annually, enough to purchase and staff additional classrooms, a controversial effort that kept class sizes lower than in other Seattle Public Schools elementary schools.
Just 2 ½ miles south of McGilvra sits Leschi Elementary, a diverse school with nearly 10 times the percentage of students receiving federally subsidized free or reduced lunch. Leschi parents haven’t traditionally raised a lot of money.
But that’s changing, said Jennifer Marquardt, co-president of the school’s PTA. Last year the group emphasized parent giving and organized a jog-a-thon and other events, raising $35,000. That’s far less than some PTAs, but it’s some $30,000 more than usual, she said.
As a former Leschi parent, I can attest to Marquardt’s efforts and those of other parents, who have effectively re-invigorated a long-lagging PTA and started some excellent enrichment programs. I suspect that a wave of fresh energy came in with the transfer of the Montessori program from TT Minor a few years back.
See the full article at the Seattle Times website.