As California’s public schools have struggled with budget woes in recent years, parents are increasingly stepping up with their own money. In San Francisco, PTA fundraising for elementary schools has increased by nearly 800 percent over the past decade, and many local schools raise hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from parents. But where does that leave schools with predominantly low-income students, whose parents may not be able to afford to chip in? Is the disparity in private funding among public schools widening the gap between rich and poor?
Jeremy Adam Smith, author of the "Public Schools, Private Money" feature in the San Francisco Public Press
Rachel Norton, commissioner of the San Francisco Board of Education
Carol Kocivar, immediate past president of the California State Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
Robert Reich, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy and former U.S. secretary of labor under President Clinton