SEATTLE - The Seattle School District is now charging a fee on money raised by parents for schools. The new policy is making some generous parents very angry.
The district is now charging parent groups a 3.3 percent fee for their grants to public schools. Money raised from bake sales, auctions and other fundraisers will be charged the fee if the money goes to the school in the form of a grant.
"That adds insult to injury," says parent Jane Davies, whose parent group raised nearly $90,000 dollars for Salmon Bay School. "We are already having to raise money for what should be covered as basic education and that's frustrating."
Davies' parent group grant is helping to pay for a part time librarian, music teacher and gym teacher.
The Seattle School District says the fee is needed to pay for administrative costs of the grant. They already charge a fee when they receive a federal grant. The district recently announced layoffs of 900 central staff workers in an effort to cut their budget by $25 million next year.
"Parents are the heart and soul and spirit and passion of the Seattle Public Schools. We've got 45,000 students and their parents are working every day to support schools by volunteering hundreds of hours and to tax them with a parent tax is just beyond silly," said State Representative Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle.