PTA Fundraising For Oklahoma Teachers Faces Challenges

Monday, April 18th 2016, 6:34 pm
By: Karl Torp

Oklahoma Parents have expressed an interest in raising money for Oklahoma teachers, but there are challenges outside the finances.

In March, OKCPS announced that it would have to cut more than 200 teacher jobs to help make up for a $30 million budget shortfall.

Several schools, including Nichols Hills Elementary, Cleveland Elementary and Wilson Elementary have reached out to their PTAs to help keep the schools from losing teachers.

None of those school would talk to News 9 about their fundraising strategy or how much money their PTAs would be trying to earn for teachers. The Oklahoma State School Boards Association thinks there’s a good reason why.

“The high poverty school may not be able to raise enough money to save the art teacher, where as another school can save the art teacher and music teacher, then the inequity of that district could come into play and the district could have some issues,” said OSSBA Executive Director Shawn Hime.

Hime says those issues my cost the district in Federal Funding, but he still feels the PTA fundraiser for teachers is a great idea.

“It’s a conversation worth having,” added Hime.

Meanwhile, OKCPS says it’s just in the beginning stages of figuring out how money raised could be dispersed without breaking federal funding rules. It says it will also look to states like New Mexico and Arizona for advice. Both those states successfully used PTA fundraising to save teacher jobs.