A D.C. elementary school located less than a mile from the National Mall tried to fundraise by letting people use their parking spaces during inauguration week in exchange for donations, but school district officials said that breaks district rules.
The active parent-teacher association at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School on I Street SW sought to receive $1,000 in donations for the school in exchange for letting people use their parking lot during President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration.
The fundraiser for the school, where 87 percent of students come from low-income families, quickly raised $3,200.
But D.C. Public Schools got wind of the project and ordered the parent-teacher organization to refund the money.
"While we appreciate the [parent-teacher organization] looking to do this, we are not able to rent out parking spots," a district representative said.
Some parents said they understood why.
"If that's their rules, their rules are their rules," one school parent said and shrugged. "The rules are in place for a reason."
Ward 6 Council Member Charles Allen said he wanted to find a way to make the school's plan work.
"I love the spirit of the school community," he said. "You've got a PTA who has a very entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to take advantage of it."
Allen said the school district does contract out parking spaces.
"Our school parking lots are used on the weekends. I mean, churches park on them, other people will park on school parking lots," he said.
Parent leaders declined to comment to News4 on camera. They said they just were trying to help their school. They said they will either refund the money online or ask for donations to make up for the funds they had hoped to receive through the parking space program.