School-Force » FAQs
FAQs

What is School-Force?

School-Force, the Belmont-Redwood Shores Public Schools Foundation, was formed in 2001 as the school district was facing drastic budget cuts. The School-Force board is composed of parent volunteers from each school in the Belmont-Redwood Shores School district.

Who donates to School-Force?

School-Force receives donations from many sources including parents, friends and relatives, members of the community, community businesses, grants and matching donations from employers. The graph on the right shows a breakdown of the $2M in donations received during the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Why do we need School-Force?

School-Force raises money for teachers and programs to ensure an exceptional education for the children of the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District. State funding provides only basic program needs with large class sizes and no libraries, music or other enrichment opportunities. To maintain a high quality education for our children, we need to raise funds at the local level.

Are we the only district with an Education Foundation?

No! There are over 600 education foundations in California, with 32 education foundations just in San Mateo County alone. These foundations raised an estimated $220 million dollars in 2007. School-Force was started in 2001, but many education foundations were started earlier than this.

Why do public schools in California need private funding?

Following the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, California state funding for public education was cut drastically. Recent budget problems in California have also significantly reduced educational funding so that school districts can no longer fund a high quality education from state funding alone. Successful school districts have established strong Education Foundations and have passed parcel taxes for long term funds to bridge the gap between state funding and what is needed for high quality educational programs.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes, donations are 100% tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. School-Force, the Belmont-Redwood Shores Public Schools Foundation, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (tax ID 91-2159650).

How do I make a donation?

Go to our donation page to make a secure donation using your credit card or to pay by electronic check. You can also pay by check, mailing it to P.O. Box 5196, Belmont, CA 94002 or drop off at any school office in the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District. To make a stock donation, email donor.support@schoolforce.org.

How is my donation spent?

Last year School-Force raised $2 million for the 2013-2014 school year! To learn which programs are being funded this year by donations to School-Force, see more…

How are decisions made on what is funded?

School-Force’s Board gifts funds to the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District each year based on the amount raised during the previous fiscal year. Once the funds are donated to the District, the School Board then decides the day-to-day allocation of funds, working with District leadership. Many factors contribute to the allocation of funds including prior year program funding, donor feedback, PTA recommendations, teacher/staff input, and budget. Learn more..

What is the ‘Ask’ amount?

For district families, School-Force suggests a per-child donation amount called an annual “Ask”. In 2013 the ask is $1500 per student. Families who give at or above $3500 are included in our Scholars’ Circle. We ask that families give what they can because participation throughout the District is vital.

What if I cannot afford to pay my ‘Fair Share’?

Some people can give more while others must give less. If you cannot donate at the suggested level, please give whatever you can. If you cannot donate please get as informed as possible about how our schools are funded and understand the implications to our community. Consider volunteering your time and talent to School-Force. The goal is for every family within the Belmont Redwood Shores school district to be part of School-Force!

I already gave money to the PTA…

…do I still need to give money to School-Force? We ask all parents to become supporting members of both School-Force and their school’s PTA. Both organizations work hard to provide a quality educational experience for our children. Each school PTA raises money for school-specific expenses such as buying teaching supplies, playground equipment, field trips, etc. PTAs are not allowed to pay for salaries of educators and other staff. School-Force raises money to fund district-wide teacher salaries for programs like music, science, reading specialists, and libraries and Common Core support. Learn more…

What else can I do?

Take the time to learn about public education and school funding, as the more you know, the better able you will be to make the informed decisions that allow you to help give your child the education that you want for them. Volunteer in with School-Force. Whether you have several hours or more, we can always use your help! Learn more..
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