“But is all this work from parent-school groups—work that is done with the best of intentions—unfairly increasing advantages in already privileged communities?”
Rob Reich (professor of political science and education at Stanford and the co-director of the university’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society) is quoted in this article and it deserves a requote: “Charity like this is not relief for the poor. It is, in fact, the opposite… Private giving to public schools widens the gap between rich and poor. It exacerbates inequalities in financing. It is philanthropy in the service of conferring advantage on the already well-off.”
One idea that has been floated and sparingly implemented is to put all parent-booster money into one pot and distributed evenly among schools (if you like this idea even a little, do NOT read the comments in the Atlantic!). But what if all that privilege were spread around because, you know, we weren’t so segregated?