Kennedy Elementary is a small school in a small school district in Newark, CA. We are a 15 minute drive from Facebook and a short jaunt to Apple, Google and the other tech giants, but our district is over $4 million in debt and we are told BIG cuts are on the way. While we brace for what’s coming, our district allowed our school to get over-enrolled, creating a situation where some kids were forced to leave the school and, if that wasn’t bad enough, 88 kids spanning nearly every grade level were shuffled into new classrooms, combo classes, new teachers, etc. These kids came home to ask their parents “Why me? Why did I have to leave my class? Doesn’t my teacher like me?” It’s heartbreaking. We even had to create two new combination classes (1 teacher with 2 grade levels in her class), so now we have a combo class for every grade level, 1st-5th. We have one class that has eighteen 3rd graders and only four 4th graders. The teachers have had to step up and develop curriculum on the fly, even for grade levels they never taught before. This all took place nearly a month into the school year! And, it all could have been avoided by better planning by our district, but failing that, simply paying relatively nominal overage fees to fairly compensate our excellent and incredibly hard-working teachers (who already are low-paid and don’t get benefits) for teaching over-filled classrooms.
We, the Kennedy parents, have no choice but to take matters into our own hands. We know the district is struggling with the budget, but we also know our kids are struggling to find their way when they got upended so far into the school year and we want to make it right. And it’s not that hard to do. We wrote letters, emails and made many phone calls. We attended the school board meetings and made impassioned pleas with the district, but we received a resounding “no.” All we want, all our kids want, all their teachers want is for these kids to get back into in their classrooms, at appropriate grade levels, feel like the valued members of our school and community they are, and get back to learning.
We only have until September 27, 2017 to raise these funds and make this right. WE NEED YOUR HELP. It’s a lot to ask, and we’re hopeful enough people can give something so that collectively, our loud, resounding chorus will show our kids, our teachers, our school and our district that Kennedy Voices are loud, proud, compassionate and committed and we will fight for what’s right in our community.
Should we be unsuccessful with our campaign (if we don't reach our goal), funds will be returned to the donors. Should we be exceptionally successful with our campaign and raise more than our goal, the additional funds will be distributed among the teachers at Kennedy Elementary to use for their classroom needs.
You can view our parents and students impassioned speeches to the school board at this link. Kennedy parent comments begin around minute 31:00: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSPNwUk5fPs&t=2218s
Who is the campaign organizer? My name is Kimberli McCarthy, I am the parent of a 4th grader at Kennedy Elementary in Newark, CA. I will be responsible for withdrawing the funds and distributing them to the school in whatever manner they prefer (check, money order, etc.)
Where am I from? Newark, CA
What is my relationship to the parties I'm raising funds for? My three children have all attended Kennedy Elementary, I currently have a 4th grade student there.
How will the funds be used? The majority of the funds will be used to cover the overage fees caused by having 4 too many students in the upper grade levels, which caused a domino effect resulting in new combo classes and the students being shifted to different teachers and classes. The fee associated with this is $6000 ($1500/student/year), plus additional "benefits" which I have been told will be approximately 15% of the $6000, which adds up to approximately $6900. TheGoFundMe fees are 7.9% + $0.30 for every donation. Whatever money is left after the GoFundMe fees and the school overage fees are paid, will be used by the teachers for their classroom needs.
How will I distribute the funds? When I confirm the exact amount of the overage fees with the school, we will either get a money order or bank transfer or whatever method the school instructs me to use in order to distribute those funds to them. I am currently in contact with the school principal to find out the exact dollar amount and how the district wants the money transfered to them. The rest of the funds will be split among the teachers at Kennedy Elementary to use for classroom supplies. The principal will advise me on the best way to distribute those funds. I will continuously update the page as I get more information as to how and when the additional funds will be distributed.
In summary, every penny we raised will go to: 1) the overage + benefits fee at Kennedy, (which we believe is around $6900) 2) GoFundMe fees (7.9%+$0.30 per donation), and finally, 3) split evenly among the amazing teachers at Kennedy Elementary for use in their classrooms.
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