Why do our public schools need private funding?

Lafayette Schools provide a top rated public education. Yet, California continues to rank among the lowest in the nation in public school funding. The current way that California public schools are funded, known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), allocates more funding to school districts that have high concentrations of students who are English language learners, low income, and/or foster youth. This, coupled with rising operating costs, simply does not provide the level of funding for instructional programs that our students, families, and community have come to value. In order to maintain and build upon the academic excellence of Lafayette schools, which draws families to Lafayette neighborhoods and keeps property values high, the schools must seek additional funding through an education foundation and local community support.

Now that we passed the parcel tax, why do we need LPIE?

Local parcel taxes and LPIE donations are separate revenue streams and both are essential to the overall Acalanes High School and LafSD budgets. Together, these make up 23% of the LafSD budget - yes, almost a quarter of the budget! At Acalanes, they account for 15% of the budget. Unfortunately, parcel taxes alone are not enough given the state’s uncertain funding, so additional support through LPIE fundraisers is essential to maintain our schools’ educational excellence

How does LPIE reach its fundraising goals?

LPIE relies on families of students, community members and Business Partners to reach our goal. LPIE also hosts fundraisers throughout the year to build community and raise funds.

How can LPIE’s 2020-2021 budget be finalized when there are so many uncertainties about when and how school will operate?

The 2020-21 preliminary budget was passed in June 2020. Although we have funds allocated to support specific budget items, we are in regular communication with the districts to ensure the dollars are used to support learning, whether it is distant or in-school.

How does LPIE support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives?

We are funding initiatives such as the Culture and Climate TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) at Acalanes, supplies for classes like English and Social Studies, and professional development and classroom library books in K-5 grade to be mirrors and windows for our students. But, to expand on our impact, we are in the midst of conversations to examine concrete steps LPIE can take to support schools in creating an environment where Lafayette students from all backgrounds feel safe and supported as they achieve educational excellence, and an environment where Lafayette students learn they can be agents of change.

What if I can’t donate the suggested amount of $1300 for K-8 or $1000 for my high schooler?

If you cannot give the full amount, give at a level that is meaningful for your family. There is also the option to give monthly, which spreads the amount over the course of a year. Every donation makes a difference in supporting your child’s education.

Why do neighboring districts have higher or lower asks than LPIE?

Each community has a different approach and does its best to raise the most money they can to support their children’s education. Several factors may impact the amount of the ask, one of which is parcel taxes that have passed. Also, some schools have a one-ask approach that combines the education foundation ask and the individual school parent organization ask. LPIE's ask has increased gradually over the years in response to rising costs and budget cuts. Our current ask results in an indispensable contribution to our districts and has a real impact on the enrichment of our student's education.

How does LPIE work with the Lafayette School District to determine curriculum presented by LPIE funded instructors?

LPIE does not make any decisions about curriculum. Those are school district decisions. In addition, we are not involved in personnel relations, hiring, or management of District employees. LPIE’s purpose is to fund district priorities, which are at risk of being cut if it weren’t for donations from the community to LPIE.

How are LPIE’s operations overseen?

LPIE is governed by a Board of Directors, which oversees operation of the foundation in partnership with the Executive Director and a small office staff. Our Board is composed of parents, advisors, and the district superintendents, representing all six school sites. Members of our Board bring a broad range of expertise, and work tirelessly together to execute strategies that fulfill LPIE’s mission.

What is the role of Parent Organizations?

Parent organizations at each school have a huge role! They are responsible for building community and school culture. Parent organizations host school-wide events like walkathons, picnics, parent parties and other community building endeavors. Parent organizations are responsible for managing funds that LPIE collects for each school, like teacher discretionary funds, classroom libraries, and other school-specific expenses.

I don’t have students in the schools.  Can I still support LPIE?

Yes! We are thrilled to receive your support whether you have children currently in our schools or not. Our donors include people whose children attended Lafayette’s schools in the past, grandparents of current students, and even people who have no direct link but believe good schools promote more vibrant communities.

How can I get involved with LPIE?

Our energetic, dedicated, and talented volunteers are what keep LPIE going. Whether at the board level, committee level, or simply filling a volunteer slot at an LPIE sponsored event, there are always opportunities to get involved. Please contact the LPIE office at office@lpie.org for more information.

Why does participation matter?

Participation communicates to our children and teachers that we support them and want to help meet their needs. It also helps our community as a whole and encourages other community members to donate (did you know that roughly 85% of Lafayette residents do not have children in Lafayette schools?). Lastly, we mean it when we say, “every dollar counts.” Yes, there is a suggested amount; however, give at a level that is meaningful for your family.

Is LPIE funding cleaning supplies so the schools can open?

If this is a District priority that needs funding, then the District could ask for support from LPIE. Our budget is agile to meet the changing needs which is why the open lines of communication are so important. The state supplied most of the District's immediate needs for the first 3 months of school and both state and federal dollars are also available to support these needs. The District will always deploy state and federal dollars first so that LPIE dollars can be available for deepening and enriching the instruction for all students.

Is LPIE seeking a waiver to do hybrid learning?

LPIE's bylaws state that the organization is non-partisan and cannot attempt to influence legislation. Therefore, we cannot take a position one way or another on filing a waiver. The filing is a District decision. We will support the District priorities throughout the year, in whatever learning environment it operates (distance, hybrid, or back to school full-time). We are in regular communication with District leadership to understand how LPIE dollars can be maximized in this environment.

During this time of Distance Learning, how has LPIE's commitment to the Districts changed?

LPIE is still funding everything we typically fund, but with an increased level of flexibility this year. We are in constant communication with the District to understand how LPIE dollars will support learning - distance and/or hybrid. This year, more than ever, LPIE's dollars will be fluid to ensure they are supporting learning however it evolves. We will have monthly meetings with District leadership to review our budget and pivot as needed to meet the needs of the students. For more information on what LPIE has funded this year to date, please click here.