Biggest Academy Lowest Funding

The insight about SAS and their tight budget

Alyssa Angel, Reporter

The School of Advanced Studies is the biggest learning community at North Hollywood High School. SAS shares their funding with the school; the district provides money for the school and the SAS academy gets a fraction of the money.  

The SAS academy is for high achieving students, every class is honors or college board approved advanced placement. The rigorous curriculum helps each and every student grow academically. 

Eunice Choi is the SAS Treasurer, her job is to come up with fundraising ideas and make sure all fundraisers go as planned. Choi calls in to confirm dates and the activities being held at said fundraiser. 

Choi describes “SAS is one of the biggest SLCs in the school and unlike other magnet programs, we don’t get much funding. We try to hold events that are free of cost to all  our SAS peers. However due to lack of funding, it is very hard to do so. Thankfully, Mr. Barragan and Ms. Rojas, our SAS coordinators, pitch in their own money so that our events are as accessible as possible.” Choi continues to mention that the budget usually prevents them from doing some events. 

SAS usually receives funding from donations and fundraisers. This year all the funding has come from fundraisers, like the one at Chipotle, BobaTime and the chocolate sales. 

The money that SAS receives from the district is not used for student activities. In order to have student activities such as the SAS potlucks, picnics, dances, etc. there is the need to raise money with fundraisers like BobaTime or through the club selling chocolates and SAS merchandise. 

“Our philosophy has always been to try to make things as affordable as possible for students, last year we had a picnic for example our academy is the largest were 750 of us right so anything that we do is going to cost a lot of money,” Mr. Barragan says. He adds they fundraised enough money to the point where no student had to pay for anything. 

All events are student and teacher led. Meaning that when there is a picnic the teachers are cooking whatever food will be given and students are the ones organizing the event. 

Ms. Rojas talks about her new experience as one of the SAS coordinators by explaining “So its a large community so we do get fair budgeting but it doesn’t account to the number of students,” she goes on to say “so for example last year was my first time dipping my toes into an SAS event when we had the picnic which was about 700 and something students where we barbecued Mr. Barragan, I and other teachers and we did have like some collected  funding since we didn’t use a lot of the funding from covid but immediately everythings done.” 

She mentioned their attempts of getting parent donations during a SAS meeting. “We tried to encourage parents to donate although we are like it’s not a requirement but it would help out, especially since teachers even like the counselors have donated to make sure the students are able to have events since we don’t have enough funding.” She then explains “and we asked the parents, for example we did a whole QR code during a parent meeting and zero donations.” 

As mentioned before teachers and counselors pitch in to help the board hold events for SAS students. “Mr. Albertson like slay he gave a donation as well, teachers help out like mostly it’s like the teachers helping out.” says Ms. Rojas.

It is difficult for the SAS board to plan and hold events when their budget isn’t sufficient funding for all the students. This gives us a lack of events, as mentioned by Mr. Barragan he described that students felt better when they know they’re a part of a team or a family. That feeling can be achieved by holding types of events where everyone is included. 

While the SAS funding isn’t ideal, the SAS board works hard and does what they can to provide the academy with fun events without students having to pay a penny. The SAS board encourages you to donate and attend fundraising events so SAS students can have more activities at school.