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Nation’s Wealthy Places Pour Private Money Into Public Schools, Study Finds

A new study has found that nonprofits organized by parents and community leaders more than tripled in number and more than quadrupled the dollars they generated between 1995 and 2010. Communities with higher median incomes were more likely to have these fund-raising groups in the first place and, perhaps not surprisingly, more likely to raise more money per student than those in less affluent neighborhoods. In total, nonprofits linked to schools and school districts raised about $880 million in 2010, up from $197 million in 1995.

Part of the reason for this is that most states now have funding formulas that either cap or redirect local property tax revenues to state coffers in an effort to equalize public funding between affluent and poor districts. Communities that previously funneled more money to the schools by voting to raise property taxes are now looking for other ways to capture local money.