What is the Role of MEF?

Millbrae Education Foundation (MEF) funds staff and LCAP (Local Control and Accountability Plan) programs at all 5 schools. Based upon the previous year’s contributions, the district is able to hire staff and provide essential educational programs to all students in the District. This includes elementary music education, middle school technology, and a District-wide social emotional learning curriculum. If we raise less than the year before, the district must make cuts and reductions to staff and programs. This was the case during the last economic recession. Every student in the district benefits from these essential programs cut during drastic State budget cuts.

What is the Role of Each PTA?

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.

MEF and Parent Organizations WORK TOGETHER

The Millbrae Education Foundation (MEF) and each school’s PTAs/PTO work together with educators and families to optimize the educational programming and experience for students in our Millbrae schools.

The MEF optimizes the quality of educational programming throughout the Millbrae School District.

The parent organizations optimize the quality of campus experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Millbrae Education Foundation (MEF) 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 at We’ll be happy to help!

Who operates the Millbrae Education Foundation (MEF)?

The Board of Directors is composed of volunteer parents and teachers in the Millbrae School District. In addition to the Board of Directors, we have an average of 15-20 volunteers who give their time to one or more events throughout the year. It is important for us to have representation from all schools in our District.

Please check out Join the Team page to read more about the work we do, the volunteer needs we have, and how you can get involved.

What is the difference between the MEF and our PTAs/O?


  • The MEF’s primary goal is raising funds for programs that benefit all students in our schools. Funds raised go directly to the Millbrae School District.

  • Only MEF dollars can fund accredited teacher salaries.

  • The MEF’s district-wide grant benefits every TK-8 student, creates equity and consistency among school sites, and ensures an equal and effective allocation of programs, staff, and resources.

PTAs/O (Meadows Elementary School has a parent teacher organization/PTO)

  • The PTA’s/O’s (Parent Teacher Association/Organization) primary goals are community-building, parent education, and classroom/teacher support.

  • Your school’s PTA raises money to address site-specific needs such as classroom equipment, classroom supplies, and teacher supplies.

What programs are covered by the MEF grant?

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, over the past few years the MEF has granted between $400,000 and $550,000 to the Millbrae School District in unrestricted funds to help fill in funding gaps. The funds can be applied towards professional development to support our teachers, a social-emotional learning program, physical education, and academic program enrichment in areas such as science, music, and technology.

The MEF Grant supplements any amount received from local (e.g. parcel taxes), state, and federal funds. Over the years, the MEF grant has been used to fund the following programs:

Academic Program Enrichment (Programs listed in green will be funded by the MEF Grant for the school year 2022-2023):

  • Math curriculum specialists

  • Instrumental music program

  • Credentialed physical education program

  • Social Emotional Learning Program and Counselor

  • Reding curriculum specialist

Classroom Experience Improvements:

  • Teacher salaries

  • Instructional aides

Teacher Professional Development:

  • STEM coaching

  • Art Enrichment

Why do we need to help fund public schools?

Currently, Millbrae is the second to lowest funded District in San Mateo County. Unfortunately, California has one of the lowest rates of education funding per student. Our Education Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, exists to help increase the amount of funding per student and create an excellent, equitable academic experience. Although local parcel taxes and bond measures help, they are not enough to supplement an excellent, well-rounded education for our students.

Our annual goal is $650,000 so we can fund more district-wide programs consistently. Every donation from our families is appreciated. The more money we raise, the more programs we can fund.

Please consider making an Annual Fund donation in the Fall of every year. If you have a corporate match, please consider applying that to your donation - every dollar counts.

How are decisions made on what is funded?

The MEF Board of Directors provides a grant to the Millbrae School District in the Fall, based on funds raised during the previous fiscal year ending in June. Funding priorities are identified through collaboration with the Millbrae School District’s (MSD) administration, Board of Trustees, and information collected through parent/staff surveys and public comments at school board meetings. The final funding decisions are made by the Millbrae School District Superintendent, Administrators, and Board of Trustees.

Can I earmark my MEF donation to something specific?

No. The MSD Board and Administration make the decisions about how to spend the district budget, including any grants received from the MEF. Any input on district funding should be shared with the District and the Board of Trustees, either directly or during the open session of school board meetings.

Do my donations go to any MEF expenses or staff salaries?

The MEF is 100% volunteer-run, with no salaried employees. MEF expenses include insurance, printing, postage, and event expenses (including location rental, food, etc.). The MEF is extremely conservative with expenses and maintains a reserve in annual budget planning.

The MEF completes an annual audit and completes IRS Form 990 (which, per IRS guidelines, is made available to the public).

Why should I donate to the MEF?

Donations made to the MEF can be tax-deductible. Candidly, the State of California cannot support the level of education our Millbrae Community strives to maintain and improve upon, so every family and community member that is financially-able should contribute what they can on an annual basis.

An excellent school system not only benefits families but every member of the community.

What amount should I give?

Any amount is appreciated.

In order to meet our Annual Fund Goal of $650,000, the MEF suggests an annual donation of $800 per student no later than December 20th. This will help the Board of Directors determine where we are at and how much additional fundraising is required.

For reference, for school year 2020-2021, Burlingame requests a per student donation of $1,500; San Carlos asks for $1500, and Hillsborough asks for $2,500.

Does the MEF do outreach beyond the school families?

Yes, we depend on sponsorships from local businesses. If you have any personal connections or a business of your own and you’d like to support the Millbrae School District, please check out our sponsorship levels and become a sponsor.

We are reliant on our families and community members to help find loyal sponsors we can work with.

Besides the Annual Fund, how does the MEF raise funds?

The MEF hosts a number of other activities throughout the year that serve as both community events and fundraisers. All are invited to participate in the:

  • Eat Local Monthly Partnership with local restaurants

  • Student Read-a-thon (Winter 2022-2023)

  • Holiday Boutique (December 2023)

  • Spring Gala (Spring 2023)