Anonymous brought up an interesting point, that when I compared the Hebrew Charter School Center's (HCSC) Broadway fundraiser to my school's PTO collecting boxtops, I was leaving out the fact that often Education Foundations raise far more money for districts than PTOs or PTAs.
Point well taken.
So it made sense to look at how Education Foundation giving stacks up to the likes of the HCSC.
As I was doing some research for my response to Anonymous' comment I realized there were lots of links I wanted to add, so here is the comment and my response as a post instead.
AnonymousMay 2, 2013 at 6:29 PM
It seems to me that that the Hebrew Language people may have learned from Highland Park what a good fundraiser theater can be: This past year the Highland Park Education Foundation hosted an evnet using its Broadway connections to raise money when they featured Amy Herzog at the Italian Bistro.
The Highland Park Education Foundation has boasted over the years raising thousands of dollars for the Highland Park Public schools, and I would think that the Highland Park Education Foundation folks would love to leverage other famous HPHS grads like Sam Hoffman, Willie Garson and Soterios Johnson. So while the Matilda fundraiser may have been a bit more sucessful, Highland Park is hardly limited to boxtops.
And while the Highland Park Education Foundation may have not been sucessful raising big money for the Highland Park public schools, other public school supporters have been very effective in raising very large sums:
The Princeton Education Foundation has boasted giving their district $113,000 this past school year.
The Rumson Education Foundation boasts having raised $15 Million since its inception for their school district.
The Somerset Hills Education Foundation just raised over $100,000 at their chiili cook off.
The Summit(NJ) Education Foundation just raised $150,000 at their Casino night fundraiser. And the foundation boasts giving their public school districts $342,000.00 in grants in 2012.
Ah, I love it when Anonymous posters make a point to call me out by name.
Really, I do.
Anonymous, I can't speak for Rumson, Princeton, Summit or Somerset Hills. Those districts have nothing to do with my district, or Hatikvah.
But I do appreciate your point that often Education Foundation fundraisers pull in more money than PTO, PTA or parent driven fund raisers, and I ignored that.
So lets compare the Highland Park Education Foundation (HPEF) and the Amy Herzog fundraiser you mention with the HCSC and the Afternoon at the Theater fundraiser I wrote about and see if you have a valid point when you claim that "other public school supporters have been very effective in raising very large sums."
Amy Herzog is an HP alum, and is now a successful, albeit still off-Broadway, playwright. She came back to her home town and gave a talk at a local restaurant. I forget the ticket price for the event, but I can assure you it was far less than the $50,000 some of New York's wealthiest families paid to see a private showing of a Tony Award nominated Broadway production of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
According to their website, in the last two years the HPEF has awarded a little more than $25,000 in grants. That's two years worth of work to raise HALF of the $50,000 some folks shelled out for just 12 of the 1460 seats at the Shubert Theater.
According to HCSC's 990, in 2010 alone Hatikvah received $248,596, and that DOES NOT include the $142,000 that was given to their after school programs.
So Anonymous, your attempt to equate a home town girl done good helping to raise a little bit of money at a local bistro and the HCSCs ability to commandeer an entire performance of a hit Broadway musical kind of falls flat.
I'm kind of intrigued now, so let's explore this idea a little further. Above I said I wouldn't address the other Education Foundations you mentioned, but doing so may in fact be interesting. The towns you list are some of the wealthiest in the state, so I wonder how they stack up against the giving power of the HCSC?
NJ Monthly says Rumson is number five in NJ's Top 20 Towns, so let's use them as our test case. Their Education Foundation has raised a whopping 1.5 M since it's inception 17 years ago. (In your comment you erroneously state it was 15 M - I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that this was an honest mistake.)
That sounds like a lot of money, right?
Except according to that same 990, HCSC gave out 1.2 M in 2010 alone and had 4M in total assets.
And let's take this comparison just one step further. Rumson has about 1,000 students and Hatikvah has around 200.
If Rumson schools get about $90,000 per year from their Education Foundation, that breaks down to approximately $90 a student.
We've already established that Hatikvah got almost $400,000 in 2010 for their charter and after school programs.
That's $2,000 per student.
Anonymous, while you may have a point that Education Foundations raise more money than the bake sales, book fairs and box tops I wrote about in my original post, they're not exactly raking in the "very large sums" you indicated. Even Education Foundations in New Jersey's wealthiest towns fall FAR short of the giving power of billionaire backed foundations like HCSC.
So yes, REALLY Anonymous.
Traditional public schools can not match the private money that flows into charter schools backed by hedge fund billionaires.
But thanks for stopping by!