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      Endowment fund for Madison School

      It's no secret, money is tight these days.

      Both the state of Illinois and the Quincy Public School District often make headlines because of budget problems.

      So some parents are taking the job into their own hands to get more money for their children's schools.

      Madison Elementary School PTA is one group bringing in Cash for Class.

      These first graders probably know nothing about the impact of state funding cuts on their education. One reason is their age ... another is the PTA's efforts to fill in some financial gaps. At the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year, the PTA started raising money for an endowment fund. Parents had to raise ten thousand dollars to start the endowment ... they reached that goal this past winter. Now the PTA will use the interest to help Madison School.

      Kathleen Taylor says, "The decision was made to do the endowment, not to solely fund the PTA's efforts, we are still doing periodic fundraisers. The endowment is there to help support. It's just a nice, added amount of money we can count on every year and budget."

      That's the key word - budget. Kathleen Taylor is the co-chair for the endowment fund. She says knowing how much money it will get from the endowment every year helps the PTA know how many other fundraisers it needs, and how much money they should bring in. So far, there are no specific goals for the money, but Taylor isn't worried about finding a need.

      Taylor adds, "Last year, the school's textbook program was cut, and so the PTA used monies to buy guided reading books. At the elementary level, they are the main textbooks that are sent home with students."

      A couple of other Quincy elementary schools also have started endowment funds. Taylor says she hopes other schools catch on because this is a surefire way to have money available every year to help the students of Quincy.

      Endowment funds aren't the only way schools are bringing in a little extra cash.