About MEF

MEF Board of Directors

Karen Bettucchi Keisa Betts Molly Lai Christine E. Taylor
Karen Bettucchi
Spring Valley, Taylor
Keisa Betts
Vice President
Spring Valley, Taylor
Molly Lai
Treasurer Pro-Tem
Christine E. Taylor

Lomita Park, Taylor
Sofia Nixon Cervantes Maura LeBaron-Hsieh Maura LeBaron-Hsieh Maura LeBaron-Hsieh
Sofia Nixon Cervantes
Board Member
Lomita Park, Taylor
Maura LeBaron-Hsieh
Board Member
Spring Valley
Michele Brock
Teacher Liason
Lomita Park, Meadows
Richard Walker
Teacher Liason
Lomita Park, Taylor

Facts & FAQs

Millbrae Education Foundation is more than a funding source. Our board has invested time in learning about our district, state funding, and programs. If you have any questions not addressed here, please email us. We’ll be happy to help!

MEF supports excellence in education at all 5 of Millbrae public schools. MEF donors enable the district to hire staff and support programs necessary for a 21st century education. We are an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by a 100% volunteer staff of parents who contribute their professional talents for the benefit of all 2,500 diverse students of our district. We are the only organization that can fundraise specifically to hire teachers.

We collaborate with our donors, teachers, the District, the MSD Board of Trustees, and the 5 school PTAs to ensure that the funds raised best support the needs of our children. Specifically, the MEF can grant funds to our district for quality instruction and the professionals needed to staff enrichment programs in reading, math, science, technology, and the arts—programs that are no longer funded by the state. The MEF is the only organization that can provide this supplemental funding here in Millbrae. Every dollar donated to MEF stays right here in Millbrae supporting our schools and the needs of our children.

Our district is funded by the State of California to provide a basic, test-score-oriented education to our students. Both MEF and each school’s PTA bridge the wide gap between state funding and the robust 21st century education our students require as future leaders and innovators.

  • MEF funds district-wide programs, such as elementary school music; 5th grade and middle school band; and the developing technology programs at the elementary and middle school levels. Individual schools’ PTAs cannot fund the teaching staff for these essential programs, nor should they separately shoulder the burden of providing the programs every student in the district needs. MEF can maximize donor contributions by funding teachers who are shared among the schools.
  • Each PTA supports school-specific needs, such as classroom enrichment, supplies, field trips, family events, and assemblies. Your school’s PTA fosters parent/community volunteerism and site-specific improvements that serve the students at an individual school.

We are stronger together, and MEF encourages every able family to contribute to both MEF and PTA.

Basic public school education is tuition-free, as mandated by The State of California constitution, but excellent education is not. Because the government provides only basic funding for our district, we need parents and community members to make the direct difference by donating every school year.

Current funding from the state is deeply inadequate for our students to thrive and remain competitive. Take a look at a local/national funding comparison:

Funding Comparison

Millbrae is not the only community affected. All public schools in California are dealing with the budget crisis, and all of them are looking for alternate ways to provide a stable source of income for their schools. Education foundations, like the MEF, exist throughout the state to raise money for their district schools. Districts with robust, well-supported education foundations are often able to keep their student: teacher ratios lower, are able to restore lost programs, and maintain enough teachers and staff in their classrooms.

Vision & Mission

Millbrae Education Foundation provides critical funding to the Millbrae Elementary School District to sustain and enhance exceptional public education for all TK-8th grade students beyond what is possible with state funding.

As the only district organization that can raise funds to hire staff and improve the district’s operating budget, MEF funds equitable, enriching, and competitive education to prepare students for their future.


  • To reliably generate funding in support of MESD Strategic Plan and LCAP.
  • To return opportunities to our students eliminated during state budget cuts.
  • To enable the district to provide exceptional education for every MESD student.

MEF? PTA? What’s the difference?

MEF funds staff and LCAP programs at all 5 schools. Based upon the previous year’s contributions, the district is able to reinstate lost programs and hire additional staff to support these programs (such as elementary music and middle school technology). If we raise less than the year before, the district must make cuts and reductions to staff and programs. Every student in the district benefits from these essential programs cut during drastic State budget cuts.

Each school’s PTA raises money for field trips, assemblies, and materials at their specific campus for that school year. PTA funds cannot hire staff nor fund LCAP programs. PTAs are intended to make campus life more communal; to support teachers in volunteering and material needs; and to enrich their students’ academic experiences with those “extras” that make school fun.


Millbrae Education FoundationAbout MEF