Parents drop their children off for their first day of school with many expectations for their child’s academic growth. For those sending their children to a private school, these expectations are often matched with unspoken commitments to meet fund-raising standards.
David Salisbury, the former director of the Center for Educational Freedom, reported that "the average tuition of private elementary schools in 2000 was $3,500 per year or less. For private secondary schools in the same year, the average tuition was $6,052." Parents are then asked to donate additional private funding. With such financial demands weighing into private school funding, some parents are asking, where does the donation money go?
According to the New York Times, the Georgia legislature passed a private school scholarship program in 2008 with the intent to promote it "as a way to give poor children the same education choices as the wealthy."
The funds, the New York Times noted, ultimately filters to the contributors themselves, rather than the underprivileged students who are most in need. “A very small percentage of that money will be set aside for a needs-based scholarship fund,” Wyatt Bozeman, a Georgia school administrator said in a question and answer session. “The rest of the money will be channeled to the family that raised it.”
Other states, however, are seeing growth in funding for less privileged children. In the Spokesman Review, Paul Guppy said, "Public education leaders can learn important lessons from their private-sector colleagues about how to recruit top instructors and to make sure budgeted funds reach the classroom."