FAQs

What is the foundation’s primary mission?

The primary goal of PPIE is to raise funds that support, maintain, and enhance critical high-quality educational programming in the Pleasanton Unified School District in an equitable manner throughout the entire school district. In alignment with our goals, the foundation works steadily each year to significantly increase the percentage of families, community members and businesses donating at a variety of giving levels.

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Why do we need an education foundation like PPIE?

 

PPIE is a non-profit education foundation supporting all Pleasanton public schools to maintain high quality education for all students.

California ranks among the lowest states in the nation for per-pupil funding, and despite a rebounding economy, our state has not yet been able to restore all the budget cuts suffered by schools during the Great Recession. Funding is still below that of the base year 2007-2008. Most successful districts are filling this budget gap with supplemental community funding at an average of $1,000 per student.

We are suggesting a voluntary donation of $350 per student to restore many critical programs and services. Monthly installments are also available. Please know a contribution of any amount is greatly appreciated. Donations are 100% voluntary and tax deductible.

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What are other communities doing?

The state limits the way in which communities can raise funds for their schools: through parcel taxes and private donations. The following chart provides context on what surrounding communities are doing to fill the gap in funding:


Some other interesting findings were:

  • 75% of dollars raised were through parent donations, the other 25% was businesses, corporate matching, community etc
  • Most foundations have a 50-80% family participation rate. By comparison, last year PPIE had 15% family participation rate.
  • Nearly all districts that we benchmarked fundraise for their foundation at the district level, other than San Ramon, which is comprised of San Ramon, Danville and Alamo.

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Didn’t the recent legislation (Prop 30 & the Local Control Funding Formula) address the school funding issues?

In Pleasanton, approx $23 million (22%) of the operating budget was cut during the Great Recession. Prop 30 prevented additional cuts from occurring but did not restore the previous cuts made, and those temporary revenues are set to expire in 2016 and 2018.

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will gradually, by 2021,  restore PUSD to the funding levels it received in 2007-2008. Pleasanton schools will not get all the programs and services back for our students without the support of our Education Foundation. PPIE is raising funds to help fill this gap in ongoing state funding.

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Why is it important to donate both to my school site AND to PPIE?

While public education is “free,” high-quality public education is not, requiring supplemental funding at the sites and at the district-level to maintain programming. Both efforts are critical as they each fund important but different and complementary things to support a high-quality education. Similar to a washing machine…you pay both a water bill and power bill for the system to work. We strongly encourage you to support both efforts to provide a solid educational foundation for your student(s).

  • PPIE can fund programs and services that are district-wide, benefitting all sites, such as teachers for smaller class sizes in elementary school, additional class sections for middle and high school, as well as district-wide technology needs such as instructional coaching. This enables quality programs to be at all Pleasanton schools, resulting in nation-wide rankings and often at a lower cost by centralizing the effort. It also ensures continuity of high levels of programming, resources and services when your student(s) move up to the next level of schooling (ie: from elementary to middle school, and from middle school to high school).
  • Parent clubs, such as PTAs and booster groups, can fund school-specific expenses like computers, equipment, events, and teaching supplies which are important to daily operations at each site.

Currently we have a 15% family participation rate while surrounding communities achieve participation levels of 50-80%. Last year we experienced a 25% increase in family participation and want to see this number grow. For every 20% of students supported at the suggested donation amount, we raise $1 million for our schools. If we achieve the same levels as surrounding districts with 50%-80% participation, PPIE would raise $2.5-4 million for our schools.

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How does PPIE raise funds?

The foundation raises funds through various activities:

  • Fundraising Events hosted by PPIE
  • Fundraising Events naming PPIE as the beneficiary
  • Corporate Sponsorships and Grant Awards
  • The Annual Giving Fund Campaign (August through April)

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How does PPIE determine fundraising goals?

The Board of Directors for the foundation determines the Giving Fund Strategy for the year, taking into account recommendations from the Education Foundation Committee (EFC), parent club funding goals, district budget information, and available dollars. This is an ongoing process during the year, since the district budget is not set until the spring before the upcoming school year. As such, adjustments in giving strategy are sometimes made right before distribution in light of new information. PPIE Giving Fund distributions fall under two categories: Student Support and Technology.

Because the mission of PPIE is to provide equitable opportunities for all students, monies raised for the elementary school level targets programming that reaches all 9 elementary schools. The Middle and High School campaign funds are divided on a per-pupil basis across the three middle schools and two comprehensive high schools. These funds are returned to the schools for distribution by their respective site councils and principals with guidelines that fall under either of the two categories above.

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How does the Corporate Matching Funds process work?

When individuals or families donate to PPIE, most employers will match their donation to a certain extent, resulting in an addition to their donation to PPIE. A single donation can then increase by one-third to twice the amount without a donor spending another cent of their own money!

While individual donations of any amount are appreciated, are 100% voluntary and tax-deductible, the only way PPIE can receive matching employer funds is by the donor initiating the corporate matching process with their employer. Many folks inadvertently believe PPIE can initiate the process when they see PPIE already listed as an accepted beneficiary; however this is not the case. The donor must start the process internally in order for PPIE to benefit from this cost-free opportunity. If PPIE is not yet listed as a beneficiary, the donor can submit a request to their company.

To initiate a corporate match, donors can inquire at their company directly, or use our Corporate Match Search engine. If their company is already listed, the live-link to the forms can sometimes be accessed immediately. If the company is not listed, donors need to contact their company’s HR or Benefits department to start the process, which is usually an online form that takes very little time.

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When should I donate?

Donations for PPIE’s Annual Giving Fund will be accepted anytime, but the official Campaign runs from August 2015 through the Run for Education, April 17, 2016.

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How can I help?

PPIE is suggesting a donation of $35 per student per month, or a lump-sum annual donation of $350.  These donations will help improve critical programs and services to ensure high-quality education that cannot be funded through any other source than PPIE’s Giving Fund.

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I’m not currently in a position to give the suggested donation, what should I do?

We understand that not everyone can give at the suggested donation amounts, but a gift of any amount will greatly help. We are striving for 100% participation at any level – with thousands of us donating what we can, we will achieve our goal together. If every family could consider donating even just $10/month, we could raise $1 million! You can always set up monthly installments that work for your family and, of course, the donation is tax deductible. Every donation is greatly appreciated.

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What has PPIE funded in the recent past?

In addition to the Grant Programs we fund each year, PPIE has combined the Annual Giving Fund with our other General Fundraising to provide additional resources for students as follows:

Elementary Schools:

For the 2015-2016 school year, PPIE donated $330,000 to cover the hiring of instructional coaches and literacy intervention coaches that will benefit all elementary schools. Specifically, two early-intervention literacy coaches, one math coach and one instructional technology coach.

For the 2014-2015 school year, PPIE funded class size reduction to 28:1 in all Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten classrooms, and donated one Chromebook for each of the 230 elementary classrooms.

For the 2013-14 school year, PPIE funded class size reduction to 25:1 in all 1st grade classrooms, 2 hours of technology specialists daily at every site and 1 literacy coach.

 

Middle Schools:

For the 2015-16 school year, in addition to the benefit of the coaches listed above, PPIE provided $110,000 of combined Giving Fund/General Fund monies on a per-pupil basis to support the district technology plan at their sites in areas not yet budgeted by the district, such as classroom infrastructure needs.

  • Hart – $ 30,000
  • Harvest Park – $ 40,000
  • Pleasanton Middle – $ 40,000

For the 2014-15 school year, PPIE provided $95,500 of combined Giving Fund/General Fund monies to each school on a per-pupil basis, with participation award supplements, for student support and technology purchases.

  • Hart – $27,500
  • Harvest Park – $38,500
  • Pleasanton Middle – $29,500

For the 2013-14 school year, PPIE provided dollars back to the school sites on a per-pupil basis to be spent in the areas of technology, additional class sections or counseling.

  • Hart – $22,355
  • Harvest Park – $24,623
  • Pleasanton Middle – $23,981

 

High Schools:

For the 2015-16 school year, in addition to the benefit of the instructional coaches listed above, PPIE provided $73,000 of combined Giving Fund/General Fund monies on a per-pupil basis to support the district technology plan at their sites in areas not yet budgeted by the district, such as classroom infrastructure needs. Village High School received $5,000.

  • Amador – $ 38,000
  • Foothill – $ 30,000
  • Village – $ 5,000

For the 2014-15 school year, provided $68,500 of combined Giving Fund/General Fund monies was distributed to the two comprehensive high school on a per-pupil basis, with participation award supplements, to be used for student support and technology purchases. PPIE also donated $5,000 to Village High School to support technology programming.

  • Amador – $40,000
  • Foothill – $28,500
  • Village – $5,000

For the 2013-14 school year, PPIE provided $76,857 of combined Giving Fund/General Fund monies back to the school sites on a per pupil basis to be spent in the areas of technology, additional class sections, counseling or campus supervision.

  • Amador – $39,166 (ie: World Language Lab, and Science, Social Studies and Career prep)
  • Foothill – $32,691 (ie: Math Labs, Ampere Listening Station Labs)
  • Village – $5,000 ($5,000 donated annually for technology-related programs)

 

Other :

For the 2015-2016 school year, as mentioned above, PPIE provided $330,000 to fund four district-wide instructional coaches: one additional Technology Instructional Coach, one Math Coach, and two early-intervention Literacy Coaches. An additional $2,000 was donated to the Harvest Park Preschool.

For the 2014-2015, PPIE provided $90,000 to fund the hiring of one additional Technology Instructional Coach available for in-service training to instructional staff. An additional $2,000 was donated to the Harvest Park Preschool.

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