A number of reasons are usually given to try to persuade Davisites to donate. Parents of children currently attending school in the DJUSD are the obvious targets of the campaign, and parents of children who were previously in the school district are asked to give today's children the benefit of the same quality of education that their children had. It is also pointed out that everyone benefits from an educated populace, and that homeowners in particular benefit from the higher home values that Davis has because of the quality of its schools. These are all reasons that are more or less based on self-interest. However, there are other reasons to donate, too. The U.S. prides itself on being a place of equal opportunity, and has instituted a public school system on the principle that every child deserves a good basic education. Of course, one could donate to public schools anywhere to achieve this purpose, but if you consider Davis your community, you might consider contributing directly to the community of which you are a part.
The Davis school district faced a $5.6 million budget gap for 2010-2011. In order to close that gap, the district would have had to layoff 11.9 percent of the DJUSD staff, or the equivalent of 88 full-time jobs, with the remaining staff left to educate the same number of children – about 8,500. This would have meant bigger classes, fewer course offerings, reduced secondary counseling, and a slashing of campus safety and support services. The campaign, which ended on May 13, 2010, succeeded in raising 1.4 million dollars, enough to prevent about half of the layoffs and to preserve class sizes of 25 students in the K-3 grades. (Other money saving measures occurred, such as teachers agreeing to five days of furlough for 2010-11).
Instructions for donating could be found on the Davis Schools Foundation website, or you could use the form included here. And, of course, you could donate any amount — it doesn't have to be $365.
Hanlees matched contributions made by by April 24, 2010, up to $10,000. In addition, Hanlees donated one-year leases on two 2010 cars as prizes in fundraising raffles. One drawing was open only to employees of the Davis Joint Unified School District; the other was open to the general public. Ann Parsons and Marleene Buttice had the winning tickets. Following the success of this raffle, Hanlees raffled off a third one-year lease; Hanlees invited all who have donated since Jan 1 to a reception at 7 p.m., May 11, at the Nissan showroom. The first 200 were given a raffle ticket at the door and welcomed in (that limit is set by building occupancy rules). Guests had a 1-in-200 chance of winning the car lease and had to be present to win the drawing, which happened during the event.
Matching grants for contributions made by May 13, 2010:
- An anonymous donor challenged the community to match his $25,000 check, saying: “I travel around the world for business, and I often see a deep appreciation for education and a willingness to sacrifice for it. This is the time for us in Davis to do the same. We can’t sit back and take education for granted.”
- Mohini Jain, a retired Davis High science teacher, volunteered to match $10,000 in donations from the community. In 2008, she anonymously offered a $100,000 match.
- Nugget matched up to $5,000. Customers could choose a coupon and donate the face value to DSF as they paid for groceries. The coupons were available in $20, $50 and $100 denominations.
- Symphony Financial Planning challenged the community to donate $1,500.
Other ways to donate were:
- April 1-May 1: Nugget, Safeway, Davis Food Co-op, and Westlake IGA accepted donations to the Dollar-a-Day Campaign at the checkout stand.
- April 24: Schoolapalooza shopping event benefiting the Dollar-a-Day Campaign, in downtown Davis.
- May 1: Chili Cook-off hosted by Westlake IGA — you could enter your chili into the contest or come taste it (or both!)