Frequently Asked Questions
What is LPIE's mission?
Lafayette Partners in Education's mission is to enhance and expand the educational opportunities for all students in Lafayette's six public schools.
How does LPIE fulfill its mission?
LPIE is a community-based education foundation that fulfills its mission by financially supporting the hallmarks of an education rich in science, math, music, art, technology, foreign language, electives and humanities. We also provide funding for support services such as instructional aides, counseling, professional development and more.
What is the 2018-19 fundraising goal?
Our fundraising goal is $4.1 million with an expected budget of $4.5 million (additional spending supplied by reserve and endowment).
How much is LPIE spending on my child?
For the eighth year in a row, LPIE’s fundraising success has resulted in the ability to increase funding support at every grade level. Our 2018-19 commitment of over $4 million to our six schools represents a 5% increase over the last school year.
K-5 (includes Transitional Kindergarten): $2,082,887
Plus an additional $115,850 spent on services, supplies, and materials that support our programming efforts.
Why should I donate?
Your donation is an investment in your child and the children of Lafayette. State funding continues to remain inadequate. Your donation to LPIE helps bridge that gap, allowing our schools to educate our children at the level that our community demands by covering underfunded programs such as computer labs, science labs, instructional aides, music, writing, art, professional development, counseling services, and electives in middle and high school.
There is an immediate payoff – your donations this year will fund academic and enrichment programs for your students this year.
In the long run, LPIE contributions strengthen our schools by providing funds that allow them to offer a broader and deeper curriculum.
How much money does LPIE ask for?
We ask all donors to give as generously as they can. No matter the amount, every donation is appreciated.
The suggested donation for LPIE is $1300 per student TK-8 and $1000 per student for Acalanes. If you cannot give the full amount, please consider making a contribution that is comfortable for your family.
How do I support LPIE at a higher level?
Join LPIE’s Leaders Circle by rounding your LPIE donation up by $200 per child.
Become a member of our Major Donor program with a contribution of $5,000 or more.
Major Donor Gifts receive special invitations to Major Donor events.
How is money allocated to each district and school?
Working with the Lafayette and Acalanes school districts, we identify areas for investment in core academics and enrichment, supporting programs and efforts that might otherwise go unfunded.
Parent donations are allocated to each child’s school district.
Community donations are distributed proportionally between the high school and K8 district according to enrollment numbers.
What are different ways to give?
LPIE accepts tax-deductible monetary contributions through multiple channels: at Mascot Days, online or by phone or by mail. Donations can be made as a one-time payment or spread over time. We accept checks, credit cards, electronic funds transfers and payroll deduction payments.
We accept payment online, by check, credit card or electronic funds transfer from your checking account. We also accept payments in one lump-sum or spread over time.
Take advantage of your employer’s matching gift program. Many employers will match your gift dollar-for-dollar. It’s a no-cost way to increase your gift’s value. Check with your company’s HR department or visit for more information. Last year, LPIE received over $300,000 through matching gift programs.
Give through your company’s payroll deduction program. Earmark LPIE to receive a portion or your entire donation on your donor option card.
Give Stock. Donate appreciated stocks or securities and take a tax deduction for their full current value – not just your original cost. For assistance with stock gifts, please call the LPIE office at 925-299-1644.
LPIE and Parent Organization Consolidated Ask
1. What is the Consolidated Ask?
This is the name for the monetary donation request to LPIE’s Annual Giving Campaign. This year, for the first time, LPIE is partnering with each school in the Lafayette School District to help bridge the ever-widening funding gap between state dollars and the cost to educate our children.
Leaders from the parent organizations at the elementary schools and Stanley, the Lafayette School District and its Governing Board, and LPIE have spent more than a year reviewing and fine-tuning a way to change our fundraising model for the better - and the result was the Consolidated Ask. This was not an LPIE decision, but instead was a collaborative process between all of our partners.
In the past, each parent organization would have an “ask” that would help fund items like teacher discretionary funds, classroom supplies, PE, reading lab and parent education. Now, with this new collaboration, your funds can be used more efficiently and effectively by consolidating the two donations into one - to LPIE.
This year the Consolidated Ask is $1300 per student for all students at the four elementary schools and Stanley.
2. Does the Consolidated Ask apply to Acalanes as well?
No. LPIE continues to fund Acalanes - and, like at the LAFSD, has increased our support for Acalanes this year because of state funding pressures. However, because there is little to no overlap in funding with the parent organization there, LPIE is not doing a consolidated ask with the APC at this time. In order to fully support your Acalanes student, you may donate to both LPIE ($1000 per student) and the APC ($300 per student). The LPIE ask at Acalanes did not increase this year despite an increase in support there.
3. Why is LPIE increasing the ask when we keep seeing cuts to programs and staff?
Unfortunately, the “gap” is actually wider than we are able to fill and continues to get bigger. Public funding through the state and federal government is unreliable and inconsistent, making budgeting very difficult. LPIE commits to funding based on District priorities and the amount LPIE anticipates as the fundraising revenue for the year. Areas of support align with LPIE’s interests, providing funding for classroom needs, i.e. specialist and teacher salaries, technology, programs, sections and supplies. Without LPIE funds, there would be even more cuts to programs and staff.
LPIE’s commitment to the District is made in the spring prior to the start of the school year and reaffirmed at the first LPIE meeting in the fall. The District’s budget includes the amount promised by LPIE and will be used that school year. Even if LPIE does not reach its fundraising goal, LPIE promises to fulfill this commitment.
For 2018-19, we have increased the ask from $1000 to $1300 to reflect LPIE’s increased financial responsibility to the site-specific programs formerly funded by the $200 ask by the parent organization. In addition, aware of growing budgetary needs, we have increased our classroom support at every level this year. Sadly, even with an INCREASE in LPIE support, there can be a DECREASE in programs/staff. Since we do not fund 100% of any program or salary, we can increase our funding, take on a higher percent of support, and still see a reduction of hours or spending in that program area. Unfortunately, the District must make difficult decisions that may result in cuts.
The purpose of LPIE is to fund and advocate for academic and enrichment programming, and to ensure that the funds we are granting are effectively used to support our areas of interest. Like other foundations, we are NOT involved in personnel relations, hiring, or management of District employees. We DO NOT make any decisions on the ways in which programs are implemented or the curriculum that the District uses.
4. What if I don’t want to donate to LPIE and I just want to give to my parent organization?
A donation to LPIE is a donation to your school. This year, the change is that we only have one check-writing campaign and that check is directed to LPIE.
Parent organizations don’t have a way to put your donation to work like LPIE does. Giving to LPIE is the way to give to your school, allowing your donations to be put to work in the classroom. Your parent organization will manage the distribution of the funds donated to LPIE, continuing the tradition of donations supplementing classroom and specialist programs and supplies. In addition, LPIE has more purchasing power for items that affect the entire District, putting your dollars to work more effectively and efficiently.. And finally, there will be many opportunities to support your parent organization at community-building activities and events at your school.
5. Can I designate where my money goes?
No. LPIE works with the Lafayette School District and Acalanes each year to determine the educational priorities and LPIE funds the schools in an equitable manner according to the amounts that its Budget Commitment Committee determines that LPIE should be able to raise each year.
6. What is the role of parent organizations?
Parent organizations at each school have a huge role, as they always have! They are responsible for building community and school culture. Parent organizations will host school-wide events like Walk-a-Thons, picnics, parent parties and other community-building endeavors. Parent organizations will also be responsible for managing funds that LPIE collects for each school, like teacher discretionary funds, classroom libraries, and other school-specific expenses.
What is all this I’m hearing about changes to the 4th grade music program?
The District music teachers of LafSD approached the administration and asked for a change to the music program and the District agreed. (This was not an LPIE decision.) In the past, 4th graders would have two days of music a week for 30 minutes a day. Now the program is one day a week for 45 minutes. Instructional time will be virtually the same when taking into account time used for setup and tuning of instruments. While 4th graders used to have to choose an instrument, now the program will be an exploratory look at music and will give students exposure to all instruments. The goal is that when students choose an instrument (now in 5th grade), it will be a more informed decision, so perhaps they will continue playing that chosen instrument in future years as a result. LPIE continues to support the 4th grade music curriculum with funding for teacher salaries and LPIE music aides.
I already gave to the Acalanes Performing Arts Boosters. Why should I support LPIE?
The Boosters organization supports activities OUTSIDE the classroom, such as expenses associated with competitions, travel and special exhibitions. LPIE is providing $57,250 (7.4% of the total amount given to Acalanes this year) to drama, music and choral programs to support in-class activities. LPIE funds vocal coaches and master classes, new instruments, special instrument instructors, drama and stagecraft supply costs.
What about the passage of school parcel tax & proposition measures?
The passage of parcel taxes and Proposition 30 measures were critical, but they do not fully restore education funding to prior levels, making funding from LPIE and the parent organizations critically important.
Can’t the school districts cut administrative costs?
Currently, California schools have one of the lowest administrative and staff-to-student ratios in the nation. Over the past few years, both the Lafayette and Acalanes School Districts have trimmed administrative costs as much as possible to preserve curriculum and classroom.