Sean McCauley, an elementary school principal in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been at his job for six years — and doesn't remember ever asking his students to participate in a fundraiser, the kind in which children and parents are asked to buy and sell overpriced soaps, calendars, candies and magazine subscriptions to family members, friends and co-workers.
It's not that McCauley wouldn't like to raise money for Ethel M. Taylor Academy, where he oversees about 300 students in a school in the middle of a Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority project.
Ninety percent of the students' parents and guardians have incomes under the poverty level. Every child receives a government-paid breakfast and lunch, and 15 to 20 percent of the student body is considered homeless, either living in a shelter or camped out at somebody else's home.
"We've been approached by fundraising organizations, but we always tell them that our families aren't going to be able to do that," said McCauley.