Fundraising efforts by Vancouver school communities last year collected more than $3 million for field trips, playground equipment, technology, sports events, library books, and other learning resources and activities.
That’s according to a survey conducted by the Vancouver board of education and discussed last week at a committee meeting.
Roughly one-third of the money raised came from grants, including provincial gaming money. All of the 93 schools that responded to the survey said their fundraising efforts during the 2012-13 year included grant applications.
The second most frequent fundraising activity was described as “PAC initiated”, followed by individual or community donations. The schools also reported spellathons, walkathons, marathons and book fairs. Results from the survey can be found here.
Trustee Mike Lombardi said fundraising has become “a normalized function at schools” because of inadequate government funding, and it’s creating stress for parents, students and staff.
Those who responded to the survey acknowledged that fundraising brings parents and school staff together in a positive way, but agreed with Lombardi that it creates stress. There was particular concern about fundraising for playground equipment, which is used by other members of the community and not just students.
The board intends to use the results of the survey to advocate for adequate, stable and predictable funding, Lombardi said in an email. It also plans a review of its fundraising policy next year.