How would funds be spent?

Each parent group will decide how the funds are best spent at their school trusting that each school knows how to best direct these resources.

Is this a district or Foundation fundraiser?

It’s a “sharing project” that was inspired by the collaborative fundraising that the middle school parent groups started several years ago. The Foundation and the district are helping to facilitate the project.

When do the funds get turned in and when do they go back out?

Ideally, parent groups would submit their contribution shortly after their fall fundraiser as it allows funds to be distributed back out to support students more quickly. Checks will be disbursed by the Foundation to each parent group no later than winter break, but hopefully sooner! Parent groups that have winter or spring fundraisers should submit their contribution following those events and then we will do a spring funds distribution.

Where does the money get pooled?

The Bellingham Public Schools Foundation will serve as the fiscal sponsor (just as it does for many groups in our school district including the middle school parent group fundraiser). Checks will be sent to the Foundation and then all funds will be distributed to the participating schools.

How much is being shared, and how is it being redistributed?

The 10% given by each parent group will be based on the current year’s actual fundraising income. The funds will be distributed based on the number of students at each school receiving free or reduced meals. This plan acknowledges that every school has students in need.

What happens if we have a really low fundraising year?

The plan is based on what is raised in the current year. One of the strengths of this project is that it helps support one another as each parent group will experience ebbs and flows in fundraising.

Does the Elementary Equity Project reflect funding schools get from the district, Foundation and outside sources?

There are a lot of ways that the district, the Foundation and community partners try and support schools with the highest needs. However, the inspiration for this project came from collective observations and acknowledgement that what we’re currently doing is still not enough to give students at every school equitable opportunities.

Why aren’t the elementary schools following the same sharing model as the middle schools?

At the middle school level there are only four schools which don’t have the large disparities in their fundraising outcomes. Their model helped to balance income, but no school experienced huge shifts.