Frequently Asked Questions – Backup

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:

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.

Unfortunately, this is true! In spite of being the lowest funded school district, our schools are able to provide an excellent, well-rounded education for our students with the support of a strong parent and teacher community. The goal is to sustain Millbrae School District’s excellence in the long-term by improving our very low funding situation.

Some Millbrae residents pay a relatively high amount in property taxes because of high property values. Unfortunately there is no relationship between the amount any resident pays and the money received by our schools. The school district budget is effectively determined by the state and not by local property taxes. The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) means that all districts receive funding based on the average daily attendance (ADA) of students. The higher the attendance rate, the higher the funding received. Additional funds are distributed based on student demographics and socioeconomic status.

Other school districts receive funds beyond minimum LCFF/state/federal funding through local revenue sources. This includes donations from their education foundations, parcel taxes and other site-based revenue (e.g. school facility rentals). A parcel tax would provide a stable local source of revenue for Millbrae schools. A stronger education foundation is also essential to provide a competitive, well-rounded education for all our children. The reality is that we need BOTH a parcel tax and a stronger MEF to stabilize our district funding situation.

MEF and PTA both support your child’s education in complementary ways. PTA provides school-specific support, while MEF provides support for the whole district, including hiring teachers and funding district-wide programs. Supporting both means a better school system, which is better for all of us.

This year, MEF is looking to expand its support of programs beyond music and technology for every student in the Millbrae School District. MEF is partnering closely with the 5 school PTA/Os to understand what types of programs are important to each school. Initial feedback from the parent community include interest in expanding programs for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Arts, PE (Physical Education), and Social-Emotional Learning. If MEF is able to significantly increase fundraising amounts, then imagine the possibilities of where we could go! MEF needs your support to turn this vision to reality.

Millbrae Education FoundationFrequently Asked Questions – Backup