The roles public school education foundations play in their communities to meet student needs : a case study.
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Kocurek, Marsha. 1984-
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Education foundations in Texas face significant funding deficits from state and federal level budget cuts, which ultimately lead to reduced funding for K–12 students and staff. Budget cuts after the 2007–2009 financial recession have resulted in dramatic budget changes for public schools as they attempt to raise funds to meet students’ academic needs. Over time, these public school education foundations have also become a resource to students and staff because they provide need-based programs to address problems for specific communities and students’ needs. This study utilized the Theory of Change for Education Foundations and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as lenses to evaluate public school education foundations’ roles in their communities. The study aims to determine the functions that public school education foundations perform through needs-based programs in their communities. Building on current research and data about education foundations in the United States, the study investigates the question: what impact do public school education foundations have on one local community’s students and teachers through needs-based programs? Volunteers in the study completed online questionnaires and in-person interviews about their experiences with their local public school education foundation and its relationship with other community organizations. The researcher also reviewed artifacts, such as annual reports. The study included primary and secondary research questions based on a review of the literature on education foundations, Theory of Change for Education Foundations, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Brown et al., 2005). The participants for this study included a convenience sampling from stakeholders within a College Station ISD Education Foundation. Education foundations work as links between public schools and the local communities to meet students’ needs to situate students to achieve academic success. The study’s findings indicated that public school education foundations play an important role in their communities and schools. The current study found three major themes about how these foundations can play important roles in meeting student needs and impacting their local community. The information from the current study can provide a basis for other foundations to learn about ways to meet student needs through community partnerships.