The Foundation helps fund several of the programs that benefit all students across the district. Yes, you are once again being asked to make a contribution to support your child’s public education. You thought you chose a public education for your child because it was free! However, the free part is basically bare bones – without sufficient funds to provide music education, a full day librarian at our schools, adequate counseling at the elementary or middle schools and a host of other programs that used to be considered routine in California public schools. Our school district has even less funding per student than other public schools in San Mateo County. Is this fair? Of course not! But while some people work towards greater equality in funding from Sacramento, your children are making their single trip through the school system.
The Foundation has helped to make up some of this gap in funding for our school district. The vast majority of school districts in California have education foundations as do many others across the nation! You are being asked to contribute to this effort to benefit all of the students of our school district.
One important fact that you should know is that the state constitution, through Proposition 98, requires a base level of funding for public schools. The “extra” funding that schools received this year is, in fact, part of this required level of funding. In previous years the governor and legislature have often reduced the mandated level of funding due to state budget difficulties.
Much of the funding for this year comes to school districts already designated for how it needs to be spent. In other words, the Board of Trustees for our district does not get to use all of this “extra” money for the greatest need in our district, but significant portions must be spent as the legislature designates. Salaries for teachers in our school district lag significantly behind other neighboring districts, so some of the increased funding will very likely be used to increase teachers’ and classified staff salaries.