by Kamala Nahas, PTA Historian and Past President
When you write a check for Jog-a-thon or win a bid at our Annual Dinner Dance & Auction do you wonder where the money goes? Did you know that La Mariposa raises about $20,000 above and beyond the Jog-a-thon and Dinner Dance? How do we do that and what do we spend all that money on?
For many people, thinking of the PTA brings back memories of our own childhoods, conjuring thoughts of bake sales, candy bar sales, and sales of just about everything…Fundraising! At La Mariposa we certainly do our fair share of fundraising, but it’s easy to forget why we do it…the answer to that is programs.
The La Mariposa PTA strives to:
- Advocate for all students on local, state, and national levels
- Enrich our school community by providing resources to our families, diverse programs to our students, and support to our teachers and staff
- Inspire our school community through a free flow of ideas, information, and innovation.
Where The $$$ Comes From
As you can see below, roughly 80% of our funding comes from our two major fundraisers. The remaining 20% comes from what we call “Passive Fundraisers” or money that is contributed by our La Mariposa community for things we’d all be buying or doing anyway. Things like eScrip, a huge program where a portion of all your VONS purchases are donated back to the PTA. This program alone accounts for nearly $10,000 a year. And other things like Box Tops, Book Fair, Fresh N Easy Night, Movie Nights, and Corporate Donations account for the remaining 10%.
The La Mariposa PTA takes pride in the many programs we administer and pay for. To get a sense of our priorities, we have grouped them into larger categories. Keep in mind that some programs are inherently more expensive because they require the purchase of things. Other programs, while not any less important, are inherently less expensive because they rely more on an investment of service. (That’s a complicated way of saying “volunteers”.)
Technology – approx. $39,000
By the end of the year, the La Mariposa PTA will spend about $39,000 on technology. The three expenditures in this category are the purchase of six Smart Boards ($23,000), tech teacher salary ($11,000), and the keeping up of basic technology needs ($5,000).
Classroom Support – nearly $22,000
Classroom Support involves many different types of things. First, each year, the La Mariposa PTA allocates $24 per student for things that bring classroom lessons to life. This can include field trips that support social studies and science standards, supplies for hands-on art and science projects, manipulatives, learning games, and classroom books. This category also includes $100 per teacher to create a warm and inviting classroom on the first day of school, student planners, and an additional $1,500 that was allocated for literacy programming.
The Arts – about $15,000
The La Mariposa PTA is thrilled to enrich our students’ curricullum through the arts. The primary expense in this category is the funding of our Music Teacher ($11,000). However, there are a number of other PTA Programs and Events that focus on both the visual and performing arts: Art Docent Program/Open House Gallery, the Reflections Program, Assemblies, and Talent Show.
Health & Safety – $13,000+
One of the primary reasons PTA was founded over 100 years ago was to advocate for the health and well being of children. Today it remains a priority for the La Mariposa PTA. Dominating this category of expenditures is the funding of our PE Specialist ($11,000). Other Health and Safety expenditures include: Tiger Olympics, Emergency Preparation Program, Red Ribbon Week, Rotary Track Team Support, the purchase of playground equipment, and the funding of additional campus supervisors.
Community Building – about $5,000
This is another very broad category that encompasses everything from incentives and celebrations to communications and hospitality. Our largest expense here is the funding of our Annual 5th Grade Event which includes a class bowling trip, family brunch, and class t-shirts. Additional events and programs in this category include: Honorary Service Awards; Pride Ticket & Student of the Month Prizes; celebratory parties for the Speech Team, Peer Buddies, & Student Leadership; Back To School Staff Lunch & Staff Appreciation Week; Communications Expenses, Hospitality, and Community Outreach.
Science – just over $4,000
These expenditures are for programs and events over and above the classroom support funds teachers may use for science in their classrooms. This year’s Science Week takes the lion’s share of this category, but we also have items like Earth Week, support for our Robotics Teams, and maintenance of our La Mariposa Gardens.
Administrative Expenses – not quite $3,000
As you might guess there are a number of costs that come with administering programs and running an association like the La Mariposa PTA. We continuously work hard to keep these costs as low as we possibly can. Some of the items that fall into this category are: Account Software, Bank Fees, Volunteer Training, Dues, Insurance, Postage, Supplies, & Tax Preparation Fees.
All of the numbers in this article are approximate. Detailed PTA Financial reports are available to all PTA members on request.