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Why I Donate

Kyrene Middle School’s big annual fundraiser, Step It Up!, has just started. I can’t tell you whether to support it or by how much. I can only talk about why my family participates.

To my mind, PTO fundraisers are in the same lane as our upcoming bond override election. In a perfect world, public funding would cover public schools completely, every teacher and administrator would be paid a wage commensurate with their professional requirements, every kid would be fed, every classroom would be stocked. We don’t live in a perfect world, do we?

At Kyrene Middle School specifically, about half our students receive meal assistance. Many students are supported through KMS Connect, our partnership with the school to provide clothing, jackets, school supplies, snacks, meals, detergent for crying out loud. Half our student body comes from prosperous families for whom none of this is a concern. And half our student body is very much concerned about these things.

The PTO budget is a way for parents to target additional funds toward things we care about. We develop and vote on a budget that reflects our values. We vote on requisitions throughout the year to express our values. And we work closely with the school and its activities, sports and clubs to better understand what the professionals tell us they need.

There are things the district simply cannot or will not directly fund. We pay for student activities, we feed teachers when they need it the most (like during our parent-teacher conferences this week), we help pay for individual faculty educational requirements, we help fund school arts programs, and we support every sport.

This PTO, your PTO, wants to do more of all of this.

I believe public education is valuable on its own merits. Since you’ve chosen KMS I’ll bet you feel the same way. I believe public education needs better and more focused funding for things government agencies can’t or won’t pay for in our imperfect world. So I donate to our fundraisers.

I hope you will consider supporting your parent-teacher organization this year.

Thank you.

Paul Beakley
President, KMS PTO 2023-2024

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