California PTA volunteers’ work equals that of 10,000 full-time employees

Fascinating numbers coming out of California. Parents volunteer because they want to–and many realize they must. It helps their schools, and it helps their kids.

From California Watch:

Step inside any public school these days, and you’ll likely see parents working alongside the staff.

They’re running arts education in some schools, coordinating major fundraisers, setting up school assemblies and planting campus gardens. The deep budget cuts of recent years have left a void, and an army of parents is trying to fill it with donated money and time.

The California State PTA estimates its members volunteered about 20.6 million hours last year, up slightly from 19.8 million hours two years earlier. Nationally, observers have seen a similar trend. VolunteerSpot, a company that helps organize volunteers, mostly in schools, has seen figures skyrocket in the course of a year. The site logged 2.25 million volunteer hours in 2011, up from 750,000 in 2010.

“We really saw a big rise in parents volunteering in 2010, when the reality of the budget crisis hit,” said Karen Bantuveris, VolunteerSpot’s founder and CEO.

Educators say parent volunteering makes sense on multiple levels. Not only is it sorely needed, but researchers also have shown a link between parent involvement and higher test scores and better school attendance.

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