Both the MVLA High School Foundation and the Los Altos Educational Foundation are celebrating their 40th anniversary of fundraising in support of student and staff programs at local schools. Over four decades, the foundations have raised a cumulative $79 million to help fund the educations of the tens of thousands of students who have attended Los Altos-area public schools.
The foundations, like many others in California, formed in 1982 as a response to changes in the state tax code that drastically cut funding to public schools. Proposition 13, voted into law in 1978, restricts the rate of increase on property taxes, a source of funding for school districts. Additionally, the three Serrano v. Priest cases earlier in the decade resulted in the California Supreme Court ruling that limited the amount of general purpose money each school district could receive based on the reasoning that using property taxes as the principal source of revenue for public schools exacerbated discrepancies in school funding among communities of varying wealth.