Berkeley PTAs Significant Financial Contributions

BUSD Expense Graph by School - 2013-2014

For those of us who have been in the PTA for a while, one of the first messages we got was "the PTA is NOT a fundraising organization". While this was never strictly true - I don't think there was ever a PTA that didn't raise some funds for their schools - the past decade of continued budget crisis and cutting of resources at school sites prompted our PTAs to significantly step up our contributions to our schools. In the current budget year, Berkeley PTAs are budgeting over $1.5 million to support their schools, not counting efforts at the high schools (BHS has dedicated fundraising organizations independent from, and more active than, the PTSA).  Over $500,000 of the budget is aimed at direct school expenses, from partial salaries for art teachers and yard supervision to garden and cooking programs beyond the enrichment classes that PTAs have historically supported. A summary of the combined budgets for the Berkeley PTAs is available in the link below.
The Berkeley PTA Council has started an ambitious effort to analyze our budgets with the goal of working with other funding sources, Our goal is to provide a basis for discussion with BUSD and others to ensure that there is equity in what is offered across the district. The budget process coincides with an audit being taken on by PTA parents of the resources available at the schools. As these efforts proceed and a picture of our schools is developed, the PTA Council intends to present our analysis and any concerns resulting from these efforts to BUSD and the School Board. If you are interested in participating or contributing to these efforts, drop us a note with through the contact page.