Education foundations historically have helped provide nice extras for school districts.
Most central Pennsylvania districts used their nonprofit foundations to pay for things such as scholarships, academic clubs and tutoring.
But in the tough economy, these groups increasingly are becoming more than an outlet for the extras.
They are becoming a life support for public education.
Harrisburg School District turned to the Harrisburg Public School Foundation to help save kindergarten and other programs that almost fell prey to financial strains this budget season.
Administrators and the school board pulled kindergarten off the chopping block by landing more money from the state, and its sports programs likely will be saved with community donations through the foundation.
The foundation is still needed to shore up programs going forward, said Paul Zavinsky, a member of the board of directors for Harrisburg’s foundation.
Zavinsky recently stepped down as the foundation’s executive director to start a full-time job. Foundation member Marsha Elliott will fill in as interim-executive director. The executive director post is a part-time position.
Across the river, the West Shore School District’s West Shore Foundation is helping stem the loss of classes and teachers, too.
Click here to read the full article published on PennLive.com (August 13, 2012).