As a community based non-profit we believe it is our role to ensure that all community members feel connected to the El Segundo Education Foundations (Ed!) and the “who, what, why and how” of the foundation is transparent. To help achieve this goal, we have prepared the below Questions & Answers about Ed!.
Ed! is the community! We are a non-profit organization run by an all-volunteer board made up of parents, community members and local business partners. In addition to the board, Ed! has active representatives from the School Board, PTA , School District and City Council.
Ed’s sole mission is to raise funds to support ESUSD (our local schools). Ed! is unique in that it is the only parent organization that can pay for teachers and educational programs. This is because funding from Ed! to ESUSD is done in the form of a planned and annualized grant. Every spring Ed! partners with ESUSD to determine the monetary needs of the school district and identifies the programs and projects the Foundation will fund. Once a number has been decided upon, ESUSD plans for the funds in their general budget and Ed! starts fundraising.
This means that all money raised today by Ed! is already being spent at the schools.
One of the primary reasons people move to El Segundo is for the high quality of public education! Without our top-ranking schools, property values would decrease. The annual grants provided by Ed! directly impact the quality of education students at ESUSD receive. Without the additional funding from Ed!, ESUSD would be like all of the underfunded schools in the state.
Since 1983 Ed! has raised funds to grant money to ESUSD. To offset the continued budget cuts in state funding, ESUSD requested a grant of $1.5 million for the 2017-2018 school year. This grant allows ESUSD to provide programs in creativity, self-management, critical thinking, problem solving and communications.
Without the grant many programs that the students of ESUSD rely on, especially enrichment programs, would be in jeopardy of being cut. Donations to Ed! ensure that our students can continue to receive the high quality education they deserve.
California isn’t like other states that allow counties to set property taxes to fund the kind of schools residents want. Prop 13 took away a school district’s ability to tax its community for schools. In addition in 1976 the Supreme Court ruling aimed at eliminating funding disparity between wealthy and poor school districts resulted in laws that allowed the state to establish school funding levels. This means that ESUSD is being funded largely by income and business taxes (West of Sepulveda) and not property taxes. So regardless of how much property taxes are collected by El Segundo residents, the schools are funded at the same level as other schools in the state. To put it in perspective, California currently ranks 49th in the nation in per-pupil spending, hence the dire need of the funds the Ed! provides in the grants.
The gap keeps growing.
Our district’s primary funding comes from the State of California, which has steadily decreased since 2008, an average of $4.5 million dollars annually. These budget cuts are alarming and cement our position at the bottom of the national ranking. Though Prop 30 was passed in 2012, until the year 2021 for the state of CA to fund ESUSD at the funding rate it received back in 2008.
To put it into perspective, this means that a child entering 1st grade today in 2017 will not receive funding at the 2008 level until they are in high school.
The domino effect.
These continual budget cuts have forced us to a point of crisis. A loss of $5 million annually has hindered the district resulting in the hiring of fewer teachers and counselors, larger class sizes and a cut in liberal arts curriculum. This equates to less individualized attention for our children and compromised academic performance.
Our solution is fundraising. Fundraising is not a new concept to public education – PTA has been hugely successful in maintaining our classrooms and schools, but money they raise cannot bridge the gap in funding required per student for a quality education. It will not save credentialed teachers, counselors and academic programs. That’s where Ed! comes in. We will raise funds to help save each student’s funding.
There are four ways Ed! raises money to fund the grant:
Community Giving. Ed! runs an Annual Community Appeal campaign every year to reach out to parents and local community members. Funds raised through the Community Appeal represent approximately 38 % of the grant money.
Community Business partners. Ed! partners with local businesses that are dedicated to the community and the development and education of the students of ESUSD. This represents approximately 35% of the grant money.
Events. Fundraising events represent nearly 20% of the grant. Events are a way to both raise money and to connect our community of dedicated donors.
Programs. Several Ed! programs, such as Summer Academy, run at a small profit. They represent nearly 7% of the grant.
There is no superhero or knight in shining armor. It’s just us. We must come together to protect the quality of our public schools so that we continue to be a desirable and flourishing community. We need each of you to educate yourself on public school funding, to understand the correlation between a high-performing school district and the well-being of our community and, most importantly, to commit yourself to our students, schools and mission. We need you to donate to Ed! to help fund your child’s education.
How much are we asking for per child this year?
We are asking for a donation of $600 per child. For just $50 a month you can help make a huge impact in your child’s education. You can also join the over 200 families in the community and become a Superintendent’s Roundtable (SR) member by donating $1,200 or more.