Opinion

Stepping up, paying up for public schools

“Fund drive.”

The term implies a discrete event, finite in duration and devised with a specific goal or

purpose in mind. Yet where the needs of our public schools are concerned – in this age of shaky state and federal support, and often burdensome educational mandates – fund-raising has by necessity become a year-round pursuit. It is nice to see that the community is stepping up splendidly.

We can safely conclude such, after reviewing year-end totals of cash and equipment donations compiled by the Bainbridge Island School District, and passed along to the editor’s desk this week. Predictably heading the list are BEST, the Bainbridge Public Schools Trust, the Parent-Teacher Organizations – the institutional face of our private support for public schools.

At the high end, the Trust raised $140,000 to fund a new district-wide science curriculum – a check in that amount was handed over to district officials this week – and another $95,000 for professional staff development, among other

smaller contributions. Through its efforts, BEST raised

another $81,657 for staff training. The PTOs contributed tens of thousands of dollars, to purchase invaluable classroom materials and supplies to the various schools.

Less celebrated but at least as important are the many

smaller, targeted gifts from individuals and families (some of them named “Anonymous”) – $1,000 for computers here, another $1,000 for theater programs there; $500 for art supplies at one school, $400 at another; $600 for “various items” for which an elementary school classroom had an unmet need. If you doubt how much those gifts are appreciated, talk to any teacher you know and ask them what they could use for their own classroom.

A breakdown by the contribution to the each of our public schools and specialized programs, and the district operation itself, looks like this:

BHS: $298,896

Blakely: $10,627

Odyssey: $17,671

Sakai: $13,553

Wilkes: $42,188

Woodward: $30,000

Bainbridge Island School District: $325,157

These figures, we’re told, don’t include the wildly successful band drive, through which $90,000 worth of new instruments will be added to local classrooms; another $70,000 is said to be coming in from the PTOs. When all the funds are accounted for, the total could be in excess of $900,000 in donations for the year, Superintendent Ken Crawford says.

Clearly, the message of school needs beyond the local tax levy is getting through, and making a difference. Where our public schools are concerned, the needs have grown beyond the capacity of the bake sale of days gone by, or the one-time “fund drive” to fulfill. Islanders seem to understand that, and this year they responded generously.

“You have to give the district and the community credit for understanding the facts and stepping up to the issues,” Crawford tells us.

Indeed – and we hope the district will publicize these

donations, and let the island know just how they’ve boosted our kids’ education.

Community Events, April 2014

Add an Event
We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Apr 11 edition online now. Browse the archives.