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Don’t spend it all in one place.

us_dime_back.jpg“Treasurer Lockyer Announces Fundraising Drive to Benefit Bay Area Schools” said today’s news release, in which state Treasurer Bill Lockyer‘s office announced that the ScholarShare Investment Board -– which oversees ScholarShare, the state’s 529 college savings plan — and the San Francisco Giants have partnered to sponsor 12 games at AT&T Park during the 2007 season, with proceeds from each benefiting a Bay Area school district.

“The California State Treasurer’s Office is fully committed to helping California schools and students,” said Lockyer. “This program gives school districts needed funds and lets students experience the thrill of professional baseball in one of the nation’s premier ball parks. I commend the Giants for teaming with ScholarShare, to give back to the community and invest in education.”

Here’s how it works: Each school district will buy a block of tickets from the Giants and then sell them at a discounted rate. For every ticket sold, Fidelity Investments, ScholarShare’s manager, will donate $5 to the district’s education foundation, up to a maximum of 300 tickets.

$5 by 300 tickets, let’s see, that’s… a maximum of $1,500 per district.

For context, consider that a first-year Oakland Unified School District teacher with no prior experience earned a salary of $38,777.60 in the school year ending now. $1,500 is better than nothing, but it’s not exactly going to move any mountains.

ScholarShare, by the way, lets Californians save for college by making after-tax contributions; the earnings grow tax-deferred, and the disbursements — when used for tuition and other qualified expenses — are federal and state tax-free, which is a pretty good idea whether or not America’s pastime is involved.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • KoolKell

    Bake sales & Giants games are not the answer to public funding for public education.

  • Dan Kennedy

    I am sometimes amazed at how much mileage big, splashy firms can get out of a few coins in terms of publicity.

    I live in Germany in a relatively wealthy town (population about 18,000) where banks, car dealers, fitness centers, etc. get half-page coverage in the local paper just by collecting cash donations that don’t amount to a day’s pay for a normal employee.

    The same for things like invitational sponsored golf tournaments for private banking customers to mix with stars and prominent personalities – with prizes in the hundreds of thousands – pride themselves on collectig and donating amounts like 4,000 Swiss Franks – which can probably barely pay for accommodation for a single participant.