Frequently Asked Questions
Piedmont schools provide a first rate public education. But public financing alone can no longer provide the high quality education we expect in this community. In order to maintain and build upon the academic excellence of Piedmont schools, which draws families to Piedmont neighborhoods and keeps property values high, the community must seek additional funding.
Piedmont receives $13,372 per student in federal, state and local funding (which includes your parcel tax). However, Piedmont spends $14,910 per child to provide the level of education we desire in this community and have come to expect. That leaves a gap of funding of $1,538 per student. We rely on our community to help make up this gap. The Giving Campaign is our schools’ primary and largest fundraising campaign to fill this gap.
Every gift matters. We absolutely welcome and encourage gifts of any and all levels. Families should give what is meaningful for them, and that is different from family to family. We have a vast range of gift sizes within our donor community – from $50 to $50,000 – and each one of these has an impact for students.
We need to raise more money to keep pace with changing economics and still deliver excellence in education. This year, thanks to the generosity of our 2015-2016 Giving Campaign donors, PEF donated $2.47 million from the Endowment Fund and The Giving Campaign in order to fund programs in classrooms at all six Piedmont schools, today. However, due to increased funding requirements from the state, it is projected that the District will need close to $1.85 million from our Giving Campaign alone to sustain the level of program we want for our students in 2016-2017. For more information about the District budget, please visit the PUSD Spotlight
The Giving Campaign suggests a total donation of $1500 per child.
Piedmont spends $14,910 to educate each of our students. The district only receives $13,372 per student from federal, state and local funding, leaving a gap of $1,538. It is up to us, the Piedmont community, to make up that difference.
The suggested request of $1500 per child is similar to other California districts, such as San Marino: $2000/child, La Canada-Flintridge: $2500/family, Hillsborough: $2300/child, Palo Alto: $800/child, and Lafayette: $800/child.
Every school in the district, and therefore each child, benefits from The Giving Campaign. The funds directly enhance the classroom experience of all students and ensures continued excellence from elementary school through middle and high school.
At Beach, Havens and Wildwood:
- Class Size Reduction: Additional support staff Kindergarten – 3rd Grade
- Additional Staff Support: Art Teachers, Para-Educators and Aides, Computer Science, Math and Science staff, Science and Math Resource staff, Site Technology Coordinator, Differentiation specialist, and Elementary Counselors
- Support Programs: Classroom support and materials
At Piedmont Middle School:
- Class Size Reduction: Helps fund additional Math, English and Social Science teachers
- Electives: Helps fund Art, Connected Learning, and English electives
- Support Programs: Helps fund PMS Counselor services, Vocal Music support, The Wellness Center, Instructional materials, Next Generation Science Standards Teacher Training, Scot’s Camp
At Piedmont High School:
- Class Size Reduction: Helps fund additional Math and Science teachers
- Electives: Helps fund AP Computer Science Principles, AP World Language classes, AP Euro, ASB, Social Studies, Site Technology Coordinators, and Counselors
- Support Programs: Helps fund College & Career Center coordinators, Wellness Center Leadership programs, Vocal Music support, Professional Development and Instructional Materials
At Millennium High School:
- Fall School-wide Retreat
- Professional Development
Bottom Line: Without funding from The Giving Campaign, staff and programs that our children need would be cut. There is an increased risk that class sizes will go up, curriculum will be cut, specialists will be laid off and teachers will not receive the professional development resources they need — all of which would greatly degrade the level of education that all our children currently receive in Piedmont.
Donations to The Giving Campaign go directly to the schools and support key programs such as librarians, counselors, teacher’s aides, technology, art, music, professional development, innovation and strategic planning. The Endowment Fund, a long-term, stable source of funding, provides an annual distribution (5% of the corpus) that also supports essential programs.
It’s important to donate to both The Giving Campaign and the Endowment Fund. The Giving Campaign provides immediate funding for essential District programs, and the Endowment Fund, in addition to funding core program, also provides long-term financial stability for our schools. Distributions from the Endowment Fund have grown to nearly $300,000 per year, and will continue to grow as the Endowment corpus grows. The stronger the Endowment is, the better Piedmont can keep pace with changing economics and deliver excellence in education.
Spring Fling is our fundraiser for Piedmont Elementary schools. Both Spring Fling and The Giving Campaign raise funds to help our Elementary schools and we encourage parents to participate in both.
PEF funds “staff” — teachers and ongoing program at all six schools. Parents’ Clubs and support groups fund “stuff” — site-specific projects like technology, student activities, capital needs, classroom materials, teacher support, etc. PEF funding impacts every Piedmont student and all six schools. Unlike Parent Clubs whose members are parents of students at a specific school, PEF’s volunteers and donors are both current K-12 parents from all schools and community members whose children are no longer in school. All have in common a strong commitment to supporting excellent schools at the heart of our community.
While the two campaigns are separate, they are both working to improve our schools and PEF fully endorses Measure H1. The bond focuses on improving educational facilities and equipment while modernizing and repairing our deteriorating schools. The Giving Campaign focuses on raising the funds needed for academic programs and staff.
The Piedmont community has a long history of supporting school bonds and parcel taxes, and we hope you will support both The Giving Campaign and Measure H1. We encourage you to visit the Measure H1 website at www.supportpiedmontschools.org.
. There are many ways for our community to keep informed of both school and PUSD activities:
- Parents Clubs: First and foremost, we encourage parents to get involved in school Parent Clubs. If you can’t attend meetings, reach out to the Parent Club presidents. They are a great source of information.
- Piedmont Unified School Board: School Board meetings are open to the public and are the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. They are also broadcast on the City of Piedmont’s government access channel, KCOM-TV, Channel 27. Board agendas and minutes can be found on the PUSD website, piedmont.k12.ca.us
- Piedmont Education Foundation: An incorporated not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors, the PEF Board works directly with the community, parents and the school district. More information can be found at PiedmontEdFoundation.org and you are welcome to reach out to our Board of Directors with any questions or concerns.
- The Piedmont Portal: A great online resource connecting the community and our schools. You can visit their website at piedmontportal.org and sign-up for weekly email updates.
- Community/School meetings: Besides Parent Club meetings, there are many meetings open to both parents and the public that delve further into the plans and future of our schools. We encourage you to attend a Budget Advisory meeting, LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) meeting, or a Site Council meeting. All meetings are listed on the PUSD and school websites.