• What is SchoolForce?

    SchoolForce, the Belmont-Redwood Shores Public Schools Foundation, was formed in 2001 when the school district was facing drastic budget cuts. The SchoolForce board is composed of parent volunteers representing all schools in the Belmont-Redwood Shores School district.

  • Why do we need an Education Foundation?

    Before Prop 13, districts could count on tax income to meet their funding needs. In 1978, California school budgets were upwards of $9 billion. The following year – with the passage of Prop 13 – those budgets were slashed, nearly overnight, by nearly 60%. California now ranks 41st in funding per student (adjusted for cost per living).

    In response to Prop 13, parents began to form education foundations to fill the resulting gaps of public school funding. In 2001, parents in our community created SchoolForce, the Belmont-Redwood Shores Education Foundation, after a series of failed parcel taxes jeopardized the continuation of staffing and programs.

  • I pay a lot in property taxes already. Aren’t our local schools already well-funded?

    Unfortunately not. Property tax funds all public education, which includes the high school district, community colleges, state colleges, and universities, as well as BRSSD. The number of students in a school district is the driver. As enrollment decreases in BRSSD, the district will likely hit this minimum base level. This means that our local taxes equal the baseline funding from that state. In 2020, this amount was $9932 per student; local funding sources, including SchoolForce and parcel tax, brought BRSSD funding levels to $12,276 per student. As a community, we want more than the baseline for our students, and thus our community needs to contribute so our students have more.

    Belmont Redwood Shores School District (BRSSD) is one of the lowest funded schools among all public school districts in San Mateo County and statewide. The district relies on local sources like SchoolForce and parcel taxes to cover nearly 20% of its district’s annual $43 million budget.

  • How do SchoolForce and PTAs fit together?

    SchoolForce’s core mission is district-wide educational excellence through fundraising, while each school’s PTA’s (Parent-Teacher Association) core mission is community-building, child advocacy, parent education, and classroom and teacher support.  There are important differences in what SF and each school’s PTA can support through fundraising efforts.  SchoolForce addresses critical district-wide staff and programs such as science, art, and music teachers; in-class technology; art, music, and physical education programs; professional development; teacher innovation grants; social-emotional learning and support.  Your school’s PTA utilizes funds to address site-specific needs such as family events, classroom supplies, field trip entrance fees, assemblies and culturally enriching programs. Both organizations are important for your student’s education. A good example of the way two organizations enhance each site collaboratively is the library. The PTA funds the books in the library; SchoolForce funds the librarian.

  • Why is the recommended donation so high?

    SchoolForce is a crucial and reliable part of the district’s annual budget. The requested donation is high, but it represents a tiny percentage of the tuition at a comparable private school. It’s easy to break the donation into manageable monthly recurring donations (that still qualify for tax deductions and corporate match), which puts the monthly ask in the same general range as a monthly utility bill for many homes.

    For families that cannot give at the ask, we welcome all donations at all levels – participation by the highest number of families is an important part of building community. And families that can afford to be even more generous, we appreciate their commitment to quality public schools.

  • What is the Education Commitment Campaign (ECC)?

    Since 2019, SF partnered with PTA’s on the Education Commitment Campaign, which combines the PTA and SF fall fundraising donations. Streamlining giving enables donors to make a donation to support virtually all your student’s educational needs quickly and easily. Together, SchoolForce and PTAs provide the resources required to support teachers, support students, support school communities, and support the excellent educational programs that are provided at each BRSSD school. To learn more, please visit www.eccbrssd.org.

  • How is the SchoolForce budget allocated?

    Each year, SchoolForce raises funds to support the following school year’s budget. The vast majority of funds are allocated directly into the district budget for critical staff and resources, including teachers and resources that support every student in every classroom. Additionally, because SchoolForce has been consistently providing funding for art, electives, and counselors, the district was able to integrate these items into its budget.  Beyond the District allocation, SchoolForce also funds innovation grants that allow teachers and staff to use the grant flexibly to meet their teaching and creativity needs.

  • Who donates to SchoolForce?

    The majority of donations come from parents in the community through direct donations, stock donations, and contributions from donor advised funds. SchoolForce receives about 25% of its funding through company matching. In addition, a number of local businesses support SchoolForce with generous donations, in-kind gifts, and grants.

  • Is my donation tax-deductible?

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

  • How do I stop, increase or decrease my recurring donation / monthly giving amount?

    We will charge your payment method at the frequency you request when initiating your donation. To to view, increase, decrease or stop your recurring donation login to your account. On the dashboard, you’ll see a “Recurring Transactions” section.

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