FAQ

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 info@millbraekids.org. We’ll be happy to help!

Why do public schools need private funding?

  • Unfortunately, since the passage of Proposition 13, California state funding for public education was cut drastically.
  • Nationwide, we now rank ~41st in state funding per student.
  • Public funding is not enough to provide the type of education our kids deserve.
  • In spite of being one of the lowest funded school districts in San Mateo County, our schools are able to provide an excellent, well-rounded education for our students with the support of a strong parent and teacher community and with the help of Millbrae Education Foundation (MEF).
  • The goal of MEF is to sustain Millbrae School District’s excellence in the long-term by improving our very low funding situation.
  • The more money we are able to raise, the more we can provide for our kids’ education.

What is MEF?

  • Millbrae Education Foundation (MEF) is an entirely volunteer-run, non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that raises funds for the Millbrae School District (MSD) that includes all elementary schools (Green Hills, Lomita, Meadows, and Spring Valley) and Taylor Middle School.
  • Since MEF was established in 2007, our annual grant has positively impacted every student in our school district and builds a stronger Millbrae community.

What is the difference between the MEF and PTA/O?

See MEF and PTA page for details.

How will the $525,000 that MEF raised last year be spent?

This year, MEF dollars will GROW the programming available to all Millbrae students. Learn more about each program that we fund on our Programs page!

Last year, MEF raised the highest amount to date! Our goal for this year is $650,000. What could we do with higher MEF participation?

Why should I donate to MEF and PTA/O if Measure N already passed?

  • Prior to the Measure N parcel tax, Millbrae was the lowest locally funded school district.
  • If we fall below our current level of MEF funding, we drop right back down to the lowest funded (see graph).
  • The more money we raise, the more we can do to enhance our kids’ educations.
  • Both Measure N funds and your generous support for MEF and PTA/O are needed by your children.

What will Measure N be funding?

  • The Parcel Tax Oversight Committee will be charged with reviewing expenditure reports and ensuring Measure N funds are spent for the following purposes, as stipulated by the Measure:
    • Maintain 21st-century, hands-on science labs, technology, engineering and math instruction
    • Attract and retain qualified teachers
    • Strengthen reading and writing programs
    • Restore art and music programs
    • Provide classroom computers and instructional technology
  • The first installment of funding from Measure N will be coming next June 2019.

I already pay for property taxes – doesn’t this money help our schools?

  • Unfortunately, there is no relationship between the property tax amount any resident pays in Millbrae, and the money received by our schools.
  • Millbrae School District’s budget is effectively determined by the state and not by local property taxes.
  • The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) means that all schools 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.

What amount should I give?

  • We suggest an annual donation of $800 per family or $500 per student, or $50-80/month.
  • Those who donate $1500 or above become part of our Leadership Circle Program (see below).
  • Every donation is appreciated and will make a difference to all of our students.
  • Donations will be acknowledged in our Annual Report (with the option to remain anonymous or have one’s donation amount remain anonymous).
  • Only with your support can we take good public schools and transform them into great public schools.
  • Did you know that California spends ~$3,500 less per child than the national average? This amount is offset in all California public school districts by local funding sources such as the Measure N Millbrae parcel tax and the MEF grant.
  • For reference, the school foundations from neighboring school districts have the following suggested donations per child: Burlingame, $1,250; San Carlos, $1,200; Los Altos, $1,200; Mill Valley, $1,200; Menlo Park, $1,500; Belmont-Redwood Shores, $1,500; Hillsborough, $2,300.

What if I cannot afford to pay the suggested donation amounts of $800/family or $500/child?

  • ANY donation amount will help benefit your child and his/her education.
  • Please consider also reaching out to extended family members and friends.
  • You can also volunteer your time and talents during the year. We have many ways to get involved, both big and small, and everyone is welcome to join our team!

How are decisions made on what is funded?

  • The MEF Board of Directors allocates a grant to MSD each September based on the funds we raise during the previous fiscal year (ending on June 30th).
  • Funding priorities are identified through collaboration amongst MSD’s administration, teachers, and the Board of Trustees, as well as from information collected through parent surveys. These funding priorities are then aligned with identified actions and services in the District’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).
  • Final programmatic and funding decisions rest with Millbrae School District’s administrators and our elected school board trustees who manage the district budget.
  • If you have input on district spending, it is important for you to voice your opinions. School Site Councils (SSC), the District English Language Advisory Committee (DELAC) and District Advisory Council (DAC) exist for this purpose.
  • MSD Board of Trustees’ meetings are the first and/or third Tuesday of every month and are open to the public, and Board and staff contact information is on the MSD website.

What is your Family Leadership Circle Program?

  • MEF acknowledges that donations of all amounts are critical to our mission.
  • The Leadership Circle Program recognizes current Millbrae School District families who contribute at the $1,500 level and above.
  • Leadership Circle donors are invited to attend periodic gatherings with the Superintendent, providing an opportunity to learn more about the impact of their leadership level support.

Does MEF reach out to the community and businesses? Is there a sponsorship program?

  • Yes! Sponsorship by community organizations and businesses, as well as other individual supporters of education, is a critical part of our mission.
  • Learn more about sponsoring MEF and view the benefits on our Sponsorships page.
  • Businesses tend to give to people they know or with whom they’ve developed a relationship, so we depend heavily on contact from parent volunteers to help make these connections.
  • If you would like to help with business outreach or are an interested business, please contact us at info@millbraekids.org.

How can I get more involved?

  • Donate online or by check.
  • Help identify corporate sponsors.
  • Volunteer! (several board and volunteer positions are available - open to parents, teachers, staff, community)
  • Surveys - we want to hear from YOU!