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!

I just donated funds to the PTA/O...isn't that enough?

The Millbrae Education Foundation (MEF) is the fundraising "arm" of the Millbrae School District (MSD). Individual and Sponsor donations go directly to the District to assist with education programs which the District cannot fund entirely on their own. The funds are used to support all students in the District.

Decisions on funding are made by the District through input from their employees, community members, and the School Board.

Your Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent Teacher Organization directly supports student needs at the campus level.

The MEF and your parent organizations work closely together to support ALL schools in the MSD.

Donate to the MEF Today.

How do I know where my donation goes?

For 2019-20, a total of $591,000 in MEF funding enabled the District to provide Millbrae students with:

  • Technology Coaching

  • STEAM Innovation Coordinator

  • Music

  • Elementary Counselor

  • Legarza

Every public school in California depends on federal, state, and local funds. Local funds consist of grants from education foundations like the MEF, bond measures, and property taxes.

The stark reality is that public schools depend on additional funding. Millbrae Schools are NOT an exception.

The programs that MEF dollars continues to support include:

  • Elementary and Middle School Music and Band Instruction

  • Technology Integration and Coaching

  • STEAM Innovation and Science Enrichment Curricula

  • Professional Development and Collaboration Time for Teachers

  • Enrichment that Helps Students Build Teamwork and Social Skills.

My child is in distance learning. Why would the schools need any money now?

MEF donations made THIS school year will go to the following school year.

Regardless of WHAT happens from a pandemic perspective for school year 2021-2022, our students will still need the educational programs we currently support. When we go back to in-seat learning, there will be MORE needs.

Every single student, regardless of educational needs or socio-economic status, will need more support than ever to get them on track both academically and emotionally.

Every school and every district needs to have a plan for a post-pandemic recovery program. And that plan, although not completely ironed out, needs to include funding.

Since its inception, the MEF and its wonderful donors have played a critical role in filling funding gaps. We will continue to support our schools, especially in challenging times.

The MEF Board seems inaccessible. Is that true?

The MEF Board is comprised of Millbrae parents and MSD teachers. They are not paid or compensated in any way for their MEF Board position.

A majority of our board members and volunteers are parents with day jobs; they have a common goal of making all schools in the Millbrae School District a better place to learn for all our students. Community members and parents are welcome to attend our monthly general sessions to get more information and ask questions (please see the District Calendar for dates and meeting information) .

We encourage inquiries and community participation - please consider volunteering any time you can to help an important cause. Please email us if you are interested in volunteering.

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 funds that MEF raised last year be spent?

This year, MEF dollars will GROW the programming available to all Millbrae students. Learn More

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

  • In June 2018, the Millbrae community voted to pass Measure N, an annual parcel tax with funds directed to support MESD schools. 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 (s.

  • 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.

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.

  • 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 the 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 of our Sponsors.

  • 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! Contact Us