What Is A Community-Funded School District?
The Menlo Park City School District is community funded. State and federal government funding makes up only 10% of its funding. Local property taxes and parcel taxes and other local sources make up 80% of its funding. About 10% of the district's funding comes from the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF) and the school PTOs -- generous giving by parents and people in the community.
The Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization led by district parent volunteers who raise funds to support innovation and education excellence for students at Encinal, Laurel, Oak Knoll, and Hillview. We work to raise $1,750 per student so that we can provide the funds on which our District relies.
The MPAEF funds 28 additional best-in-class teachers and credentialed specialists in the arts, science, library, and technology. It also promotes innovative education programs, 11 psychologists and counselors who provide a mental health safety net at every school, and professional development for teachers so they can continue to provide an excellent educational experience.
The MPAEF works with the school PTOs to help fund our schools. Your donations to the PTOs fund field trips, assemblies, community-building events, and classroom supplies.
A Closer Look at the Numbers
In our District, several factors help determine the dollars spent, per child, each academic year. State and federal funding accounts for only 10% of the school District's budget. This amount covers only 21 days of school per year.
Each of California’s nearly 1,000 public school districts receives one of two revenue classifications – "Revenue Limit" or "Basic Aid" – and it is this classification that is used to determine how much funding the State provides to each district.
First, the State of California calculates each district’s revenue limit using historical per student amounts that are adjusted annually, usually by a cost of living increase. The State then determines if each district generates enough local property taxes to reach its calculated revenue limit. If a district’s local property taxes ARE NOT sufficient to meet the revenue limit calculated by the State, then that district is classified as a "Revenue Limit" district. For each "Revenue Limit" district, the State provides the remainder of funding needed to reach the revenue limit. In a Revenue Limit district, the state provides additional (or less) funding as enrollment increases (or decreases).
If a district’s local property taxes ARE sufficient to meet the revenue limit set by the State, then that district is classified as a "Basic Aid" district. The State provides only additional funding of $120 per student to that district. Any local property taxes beyond the revenue limit are retained by the district. This property tax base is a more stable funding source to Basic Aid districts than what the Revenue Limit districts receive from the state.