Piedmont Education Foundation’s Board of Directors approved a $3,350,000 grant to Piedmont schools for next year. The grant distribution was recommended by this year’s PEF Grants Committee, whose active membership included the presidents of each parents club, several parent support groups, and PEF board members. The committee is advised by PUSD’s superintendent, assistant superintendent, and chief financial officer. The annual grant amount is determined by PEF general fundraising and endowment distribution, less expenses and a small operating reserve.
“This year’s process was really special since the Giving Campaign raised far more money than expected,” said PEF Executive Director Heather Frank. “We were able to satisfy PUSD budget needs and save some programming.” Surveys sent to the community by Piedmont’s parents clubs garnered nearly 500 replies, with respondents weighing in on PEF’s current distribution model and its priorities for additional fund expenditures. Full survey results are viewable online.
A majority of respondents felt that the distribution plan from last year was reasonable. The grant committee chose to move ahead with only slight adjustments. This year’s base grant will continue to place primary focus on teacher retention, with 72% of grant funds supporting teacher salaries, inclusive of librarians and other specialists. Another 20% invests in student support staff, such as paraeducators, classroom aides, and counselors. Additionally, 8% is provided for classroom support; curriculum development; diversity, equity and inclusion work; and professional development. After salary support, professional development opportunities for teachers and staff are a key recruitment and retention tool, leading to a significant increase in funds for this line item.
Based on input from the surveys, the grants committee recommended that the additional funding be used to continue two newer programs for which government funding was ending. PEF funds will maintain the expanded tutoring program and extended mental health counseling across the district. PEF will fund two elementary school priorities: aides to reopen school libraries at lunchtime for student use and the continued placement of paraeducators to supervise during lunchtime at each school. The middle and high school representatives prioritized a secondary reading specialist, who will provide ongoing support for older readers.
The presidents of the trischool parents clubs said they worked closely with the elementary school principals. “We reviewed survey data and elementary schools needs,” says Havens Parents Club co-president Val Reilly. “We are grateful that the grant will be able to fund these important areas and provide significant increases to classroom support and professional development.”
The full breakdown of the 2022-23 grant from PEF to PUSD is viewable here.
Piedmont Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide sustained financial support to Piedmont schools through fundraising and community engagement. Led by a 23-member volunteer board and supported by a professional office staff, PEF has affirmed a commitment to working together for a more inclusive Piedmont. For more information, visit PiedmontEdFoundation.org.