Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Giving Campaign?

The Giving Campaign is the largest annual fundraiser for the Piedmont School District. It launches in September of every year and concludes by June 30 (however, the big push is September to December) This year, the budget shortfall is $4.4 million and the Giving Campaign will raise at least half of those funds for operating purposes.

Why does the district need funds beyond what I pay in parcel taxes and what they get from the government?

While the parcel tax is essential and accounts for 27% of the cost to educate each student, net funding from the government is actually decreasing over time, while the regular cost of doing business continues to grow. Unless the community can make up the difference, PUSD will need to make additional cuts.

Why is The Giving Campaign suggesting a donation of $1633 per child?

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 offset the $4.4 million deficit facing our district and still deliver excellence in education.  This year, thanks to the generosity of our 2016-2017 Giving Campaign donors, PEF donated $2.4 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 $2.2 million from our Giving Campaign alone to sustain the level of program we want for our students in 2017-2018.  For more information about the District budget, please visit the PUSD Spotlight

The Giving Campaign suggests a donation of $1633 per child.

This year, the gap between the cost of educating a single student and the funds received from state and local taxes is $1,633.The suggested request of $1633 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.

 We are asking all PUSD parents to join us in filling the gap. Your donation — of any amount — will ensure that we are able to continue keeping Piedmont schools strong. Every contribution makes a difference and participation matters!

 

Why is net government funding decreasing?

A few years ago, the California government made the decision to fund the current unfunded pension liability for teachers and public employees by billing California school districts at an increasingly high percentage. In 2014, that rate was 8.25%. This year that rate is 14.43%, and it will grow to 19.1% in the next three years. This year, PUSD is paying $1.3 million to fund California’s debt.

How does PUSD spend dollars raised by The Giving Campaign?

Each year a committee of community members meets with PUSD administration to decide this. Of this year’s grant, 62% is being spent on keeping class size low, 30% on counselors, class aides, librarians, wellness and other specialists, and 8% on classroom supplies, curriculum development and training.

What is the difference between The Giving Campaign and Endowment Fund?

The Giving Campaign is an annual fundraiser to help fill the gap between government funding and local taxes and what is needed to educate our children. Our objective, however, is not just to plug our annual budget shortfall, but to increase our long-term investment in our schools so that we can continue to build extraordinary programs that encourage innovation, creativity and scholarship among our students. We strive to do this through an endowment fund that will provide PUSD with an annual payout from the fund. We we will be reaching back out to you in a few months with more information on how you can help endow the future of our schools.

What's the difference between The Giving Campaign and Spring Fling?

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.

How is PEF different from Parent Clubs and other school support organizations?

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.

Why can't you use the money from the H1 Bond Measure to fill the budget gap?

Like all such measures, the H1 Bond funds are restricted and can only be used to cover the costs of planning and constructing physical facilities.

 

Why does Piedmont receive less per student from the government than surrounding districts?

California provides funding to public schools based on the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). This is an equation based on number and classification of students. Schools receive more funding for English language learners, foster children, and students on a reduced-cost lunch plan. Piedmont has fewer of these students so receives minimal additional funding.