The Los Altos Educational Foundation reached its 2009-2010 fundraising goal of $1.81 million and last month delivered the grant money to the Los Altos School District.
Foundation President Glenn Goldberg presented the check to Los Altos School District President Margot Harrigan April 24 at the districtwide Junior Olympics. The fundraising goal, set at the end of the 2008-2009 school year, became part of the district’s 2009-2010 budget and paid for teachers and programs this year. The foundation’s annual support benefits students in the district, funding art, music, science, physical education and class-size reduction.
“We know the last couple of years have been tough for many families, and for our school district, which is why the ongoing commitment from parents and the community means so much,” Goldberg said. “We already know district revenues will be down again next year, but the (foundation) board is confident that parents will step up with the donations we need to save our excellent teachers and programs.”
For 28 years, parent donations to the educational foundation have bridged a growing gap in district funding. The combination of the district’s parcel tax, PTA fundraisers and the foundation’s annual grant provides nearly 30 percent of the district’s annual revenue. The local funds enable elementary and middle schools to retain programs that help the Los Altos School District maintain high rankings in California.
“Public schools here in Los Altos stay on top year after year for good reason: our dedicated teachers and staff and the unwavering commitment and generosity of parents in our community,” said Shobana Gubbi, foundation executive director. “The volunteer hours and generous donations of parents and the local community make all the difference in the quality of education our kids receive. Community support is more important than ever with the parcel tax renewal on the ballot in November.”
Foundation officials are scheduled to announce their 2010-2011 fundraising goal by early June.
“We are eager to commit to next year’s grant,” Goldberg said. “But until some of the unknowns in the district budget become clear – items like teacher furlough days, state funding and other possible cuts – (the foundation) cannot make well-informed decisions for next year. Once the budget is decided, (the foundation) can lock in its financial pledge to the district, specify the programs we can fund and begin fundraising all over again for 2010-2011.”
For more information on the Los Altos Educational Foundation, visit www.laefonline.com.