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What is the difference between the Chapman PTA, Foundation and Friends of Chapman?
Working in partnership as Friends of Chapman allows the PTA and Foundation to fundraise collectively and streamlines decision making that serves the best interests of our whole school community. Practically speaking, it gives us maximum flexibility in allocating funds.
Why is the auction important? What happens to the funds raised?
The auction is our biggest single fundraiser of the year, bringing in more than half of our total annual revenue. The rest of our income comes from smaller fundraisers, grants, employee-matched donations and other giving by parents and community members.
Most auction proceeds (income minus expenses) are deposited into our general fund. Auction paddle raises and other types of income like our Reading Results grant or playground brick donations are earmarked for specific purposes.
How does Friends of Chapman decide how to spend all this money?
The short answer: The PTA meets in fall and votes on a budget for the upcoming school year.
The more complex answer: The overall budget is somewhat fluid throughout the year, with two key decision making points in spring and fall:
In the spring prior to a new school year, the district informs school principals of their staffing allocation numbers. Essentially, that’s how many teachers and other support staff a school will receive to operate in fall. This is largely based on projected enrollment.
FOC approves an estimated figure to supplement the district allocation. We do this as early as possible to speed hiring in advance of the school year. It’s important to note that neither the foundation, nor the PTA has the ability to dictate how staffing dollars will be spent. We can only approve, adjust or decline the proposed amount and help inform the decision. Dollars that are not allocated to staffing remain under the PTA’s discretion.
In the fall, a final budget for the upcoming school year is approved by a vote of the PTA membership. Adjustments may be made via an approved motion introduced by any member. In recent years, fluctuations in enrollment, the introduction and the closure of a second campus have added an additional layer of challenge to the budgeting process.
Technically, we are fundraising through the year in order to meet the budget that has been set in the fall. Practically (due to the timing of our auction and its large share of our overall income), auction revenue affects the upcoming school year more than the current school year.
Want to know more? A detailed financial report is delivered by the PTA treasurer at every PTA meeting.
Shouldn’t the school district supply adequate staff to run the school?
We think so, but the reality is that public education has not been adequately funded in Oregon for decades. If you’re interested in learning more about exactly how that happened, a good place to start your research is to watch this short documentary, produced by the Oregon School Boards Association.
Private fundraising to supplement Portland Public Schools staffing began in the mid 1990s when parent activism led to the creation of the Portland Public Schools Foundation.
PPS has announced that beginning July 1, 2019, it will transfer oversight and distribution of local school foundation funds to a new nonprofit called the Fund for Portland Public Schools.
How do i share my thoughts about funding?
At Chapman: All PTA members have the right to introduce and vote on motions, including spending and budget decisions throughout the year. The principal or assistant principal attends all PTA meetings.
At the State Level: Please communicate with your state legislators. The legislature is now in session and will be making educational funding decisions that will impact our children for years to come.