History of PiE
Since the enactment of Proposition 13, California has faced substantial declines in school funding. Currently, California ranks 46th out of 50 states in spending per student Since 2005, PiE has given more than $53 million to PAUSDbased on Education Week’s January 2017 “Quality Counts” report. Even for a better-off district like the Palo Alto Unified School District, spending per student is $1,000 less than the median spending per student in other top-performing school districts across the country, after adjusting for salary differences. And PAUSD students are educated on nearly $10,000 less per student per year than some of the affluent East Coast and Midwest districts. PiE was created to help address this gap between what Palo Alto families want for their children and what public funds can provide for students.
Established in 2005 through the merger of two existing local foundations – Palo Alto Foundation for Education (PAFE) and the All Schools Fund (ASF) – PiE was created in response to a 2002 PAUSD Board of Trustees decision to equalize funding for every school in the district by disallowing site-based funds for staffing, so that resources are distributed equitably. Today, PiE has become the only non-profit organization that raises funds for staff at all PAUSD schools.
Since 2005, PiE has given more than $58 million to PAUSD to support Palo Alto public education. While in the early years PiE paid for the “nice to have” programs on campus, today donations to PiE are crucial for maintaining core programs like science enrichment, general classroom aides, arts instruction, student guidance, additional electives, and college and career counseling. PiE provides nearly three-quarters of the flexible funding available to principals on all eighteen PAUSD school campuses.
Without your donations to PiE, PAUSD students would attend schools markedly different, with many fewer instructors and supporting staff for each student. Hundreds of volunteers and thousands of donors have worked with PiE to make sure our children receive an enriched education in Palo Alto schools. Together, we will continue to make a difference for our children.