Private Fundraising to Build Public Schools

Print Share on LinkedIn More

July 19, 2011; Source: The Roanoke Times | In Blacksburg, Va., a City Councilwoman last week suggested that citizens donate toward the projected $125 million cost of building three new schools, thus offsetting the need for a tax increase, which would amount to a property tax increase of “10 cents or more.”

Some taxpayers have declared themselves willing to step forward to contribute a few hundred dollars more than they would be required to pay in taxes. According to this article, to achieve a reduction of one penny in the tax increase, $700,000 would have to be raised.

Elizabeth Boris of the Urban Institute comments that the idea of funding a public school with charitable dollars is not unheard of, but that funding a public school’s capital costs to avoid raising taxes is a new twist.—Ruth McCambridge

  • R. Ruth Linden

    I find the prospect of funding public schools with private donations to be strange and disturbing because it entirely blurs the line between “public” and “private”–the direction this country has been following for some time, e.g., private prisons. What can we next look forward to, pray tell?