County Considers Shared Fundraising

Parents and leaders in Montgomery County are debating sharing fundraising money in order to equally enhance programs in all schools, rather than just schools in affluent neighborhoods.

During three community meetings the week of May 5, many parents suggested that fundraising projects at some schools promote inequity in the county. Though a 2002 MCPS policy calls to review facility fundraising projects, there are no specific guidelines.

“Some parents at this school would be less enthusiastic about donating money if they knew it wasn’t all going to their own schools,” Steven Kubasik, RHS Booster Club Treasurer said.

Recently, Thomas S. Wootton HS privately funded a million dollar athletic turf at their school, an expensive project many schools are unable to achieve.

“We did get excited about funding an artificial turf field a few years ago, but quickly got discouraged by the county, MCPS and City of Rockville, as each has some jurisdiction over us,”
Kubasik said.

Phil Barnes is music department chairman and a member of Friends of Rockville Music (FORM), a parent fundraising group. “We are limited in the type of fundraising we can do either by school policy or lack of manpower and also trying to find something that is original,” Barnes said.

The RHS Booster Club has raised roughly $100,000 in revenue and over $35,100 in profits during the 2012-2013 school year. Though parent fundraising runs in spirit, success can be difficult. A successful booster club requires parent involvement, an active community and creativity but also large donations that some schools cannot provide as well as others.

RHS Athletic director Michael Hayes said, “If you’re judging by the spirit of the booster club, then we have a fantastic one but we don’t raise as much money as some of the other schools a�� one parent could donate $100,000 to a school, but does that mean the booster club is successful?”