Equity Fund

In 1994/95 , on the heels of Measure 5’s cuts to public education, parents from a number of Portland schools asked the Portland Public School Board to allow them to create a vehicle for raising private dollars to support teaching and staff positions and core operations at their schools. The Portland School Board allowed for the creation of “local school foundations” at all of Portland’s public schools, but knowing that not all of the schools had a parent community that was able to raise significant funds, the School Board required that one-third of all funds raised (after the first $10,000) by these foundations be set aside in a equity fund that is stewarded and distributed to high-need schools by the Portland Schools Foundation. The other two-thirds is used by the school for instructional staff, educational enhancements, extended day activities, and contracts.

Since its establishment, the PPS Equity Fund has attracted national attention for its creative and collaborative approach to addressing disparities in school funding and has awarded more than $7 million in grants to schools in need. Last year 20 schools and nine community organizations received grants.

On May 9, 2011 Dan Ryan, CEO of the Portland Schools Foundation, presented the recipients of the 2011-12 PPS Equity Grants to the PPS School Board.

The Portland Schools Foundation is able to administer and steward the PPS Equity Fund because of the generosity of New Seasons Market. New Seasons' Cans for Kids and School Fruit programs provide support for these activities.