Lessons Learned from This Study
With the support of the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation, we set out to examine, through our pilot study and this report, private support to public education. Although our sample of schools and districts was too small to make definitive conclusions, we nevertheless developed a number of recommendations that could be explored as hypotheses for future research, and as suggestions to consider for future policymaking.
The recommendations that follow offer both broad strategies for raising private support for public education and more-focused strategies to address the specific challenges of securing that support. Later in this chapter, we outline ways in which future research could be approached to expand the existing knowledge of private support to public education.
The recommendations that follow offer some general strategies that may prove useful to schools and districts.
One comment we heard repeatedly related to the importance of maintaining continual communication with the community at large. Principals, district super intendents, and other interviewees noted the need for ongoing communication with parents, local businesses, corporate business partners, interested citizens, and other potential givers. This can be accomplished through various modes of communication including phone calls, newsletters, and face-to-face conversa tions, which can be used to inform the community of any special events, the par ticular needs of the schools, or even to just to send a thank-you for involvement with district or school activities. As one principal observed, you need to think about every person you meet every day because that person may some day bring needed resources to a school.