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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is SCEF?
    The San Carlos Education Foundation (SCEF) is a non-profit fundraising organization that helps the San Carlos School District provide a well-rounded public education for all students. We work in partnership with parents and the community to support innovative and core programs that are vital to an exceptional education. The SCEF board is composed of parent volunteers representing all schools in the San Carlos School District, including San Carlos Charter.
  • Why do we need an education foundation in San Carlos?
    Before Prop 13, school districts could count on tax income to meet their funding needs. In 1978, with the passage of Prop 13, school budgets were slashed, nearly overnight, by nearly 60%. While the legislature has been increasing funding in recent years. California ranks 35th in funding per student (adjusted for cost per living). Source: Public Policy Institute of California In response to Prop 13, California parents began to form education foundations to fill the resulting gaps in public school funding. In 1982, parents in our community created the San Carlos Education Foundation. The Foundation works to raise donations from parents, businesses, and community members to ensure that San Carlos public school can provide a well-rounded education for all students. Funding from donations and local parcel taxes supplements state funding and allows the school district to offer a number of programs and hire teachers that would not be possible with state funding alone.
  • Aren’t our local schools fully funded by our property taxes?
    Unfortunately not. Property tax funds all public education, which includes the high school district, community colleges, state colleges and universities, as well as San Carlos School District. The impact of Prop. 13 reduced funding for education and “froze” allocations of everyone’s property tax bill distributed to various local agencies (school districts, city, county, community college district, et al). So, the allocation of property taxes today is effectively based upon the relative needs of each of these agencies in 1978. So, even though residents who purchased a home in San Carlos after 1978 pay a relatively high amount in property taxes due to high property values, there is currently no relationship between the amount any resident pays, and the money received by the schools. This might change in the future, but it will take many years for the contribution from property taxes to reach the funding levels needed to ensure the quality of education we expect for our students. Currently, the funding of San Carlos schools is “flip-flopping” between Local Control Funding (LCFF) formula districts wherein the state makes up the difference between local property taxes and the mandated per pupil state funding for schools (the “Revenue Limit”) and Basic Aid/Community Funded districts where in local property taxes meet or exceed the Revenue Limit. In Basic Aid/Community Funded school districts, school districts can retain the property taxes in excess of the Revenue Limit. There is no per pupil funding in Basic Aid/Community funded districts, so funding does not change based on enrollment. In LCFF districts, funding is based on enrollment. See comparisons with surrounding school districts here. Source: Ed Data 2020–2021
  • How do SCEF and PTAs support students?
    Your donation to the SCEF allows the school district to hire additional educators, staff, and programs important for a well-rounded education. Past grants have provided supplemental funds for librarians, counselors, technology associates, science supplies & materials, music and elective teachers, in-class technology, elementary music and physical education programs, professional development and more. Your donation to the San Carlos Education Foundation also funds your school’s PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) . The core mission of the PTA is community-building, child advocacy, parent education, and classroom and teacher support. Funds allocated to your PTA by SCEF are managed by your PTA volunteers and address site-specific needs such as family events, classroom supplies, teacher appreciation, assemblies and culturally enriching programs. We encourage parents to donate to both the San Carlos Education Foundation and to join and volunteer for their school PTA. Both organizations are important for your student’s education. Visit Ways To Give
  • Why don't I have to buy school supplies before school starts?
    The San Carlos School District provides supplies, materials and tools needed in the classroom. Your donations to the San Carlos Education Foundation supplements district funds with an allocation to your school PTA. What's more, school PTAs provide a grant to every classroom teacher to provide for classroom needs.
  • How is my donation being used this school year?
    Each year, SCEF works to raise 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. SCEF also provides a restricted Fund-the-Future grant each year to an identified need (in the past this has supported technology, science materials and library support). Your donations to SCEF also provide a principal fund for specific school site needs, they also providing each PTA with an allocation to fund classroom supplies and materials, community building activities, assemblies, library books, art programs, teacher appreciation and more.
  • Who donates to SCEF?
    The majority of donations come from parents in the community through direct donations, stock gifts , and contributions from donor advised funds. SCEF receives about 20% of its funding through corporate matching. In addition, a number of local businesses support SCEF with generous sponsorships, in-kind gifts and auction items for our events. See our Annual Report at the bottom of the What We Fund page
  • Is my donation tax-deductible?
    Yes, annual fund donations are 100% tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Amounts over fair market value for auction purchases are also deductible. SCEF, the San Carlos Education Foundation, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization (tax ID 94-2842712). While purchases of event tickets and auction items count toward your total SCEF giving on our donor roll, only the amount over the Fair Market Value is deductible to the extent allowed by law.
  • How do I make an annual fund donation? 
    There are many ways to support SCEF annual fund campaign. You can make a direct donation either by check or online with a credit card or EFT, make a donation via your Donor Advised Fund, or transfer appreciated stock. You can also set up a monthly recurring donation. See more Ways to Give.
  • How do I stop, increase or decrease my recurring annual fund donation / monthly giving amount?
    We will charge your payment method at the frequency you request when initiating your donation. To make changes to your recurring donation, please contact
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