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Beyond Bake Sales

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School fundraising is a multi-billion dollar business nationwide, and shows no signs of shrinking -- schools say tight budgets are forcing them to seek funding any way they can. Traditionally, that's meant turning students into a sales force marketing candy, wrapping paper, and frozen pizzas. Increasingly, schools are also making more direct pleas for support. As the contributions grow, critics worry about exacerbating inequities between school districts based on their ability to raise funds from private sources.

fundraising ad Document School fundraising: A non-stop campaign
Fundraising sales have long been a part of going to school. Most adults remember selling candy and other items to help finance school extras like field trips or language camps. But as financial pressures strain education budgets, many schools are turning to fundraisers to pay for basic programs --- even classroom supplies. Some teachers, school administrators and parents think there's too much selling in public education.
Club's Choice Document The big business of school fundraising
School fundraising sales are big business in the United States. Revenue from all of the pizza, candy, wrapping paper and everything else students sell, runs into the billions of dollars every year. And it's not just school groups that are cashing in. The hundreds of businesses that help organize and supply school fund drives are making a lot of money as well. One of the largest education fundraising enterprises, Club's Choice Fundraising, is headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Teacher Kathy Melander Document A wish list for school supplies
Many schools struggling with tight budgets are asking parents to help out by providing classroom materials. Individual student supply lists are nothing new. But what's become more common are pleas to parents for general classroom stocks -- books, reams of paper, even Kleenex. Some teachers say donations cut down on the amount of their own money they need to spend on classroom materials.
Dept. 56 sale Document A new strategy: Creating school foundations
Fundraisers are more frequent than fire drills in most public schools. But traditional candy and bake sales aren't generating the kind of money needed in many cash-strapped schools. Minnesota schools are increasingly raising funds like many colleges do, creating their own non-profit foundations to bring in private money to enhance the quality of programs.
STAR fund raiser Document Donations now pay teachers' salaries
Public schools have long sought donations to pay for various extras that enhance the educational experience. But in the last few years, non-profit groups in a few Minnesota school districts have begun raising money for teacher salaries and other basic classroom costs.
One teacher's shopping list

Cleaning supplies$152.67
Arts & crafts$87.50
School supplies$288.41
Household items$31.78
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