Frequently asked questions
A: The simple truth is, quality public education is no longer free. Every year, more and more money is being cut from the State education budget. California is ranked 46th in the nation in per pupil spending. We spend nearly $2,400 less per student than the national average, trailing every state with the exception of Arizona, Idaho and Utah. Our District is facing the most difficult financial crisis in decades, with more devastating State budget cuts expected. Sacramento isn’t going to solve this problem anytime soon. It is up to our community to rally behind our schools. Our children deserve “Excellence in Education.”
A: PFAs and PFCs can pay for material resources and programming. But monies they raise cannot pay for credentialed teachers or counselor salaries. They cannot help the District avoid pink slips. And they cannot maintain small class sizes. That’s where T.H.E. Foundation comes in. Every cent we raise will go towards saving teachers and counselors.
And unlike individual schools, T.H.E Foundation is uniquely positioned to unite all of our schools with businesses and civic leaders, allowing for community-wide investments and long-term fundraising programs.
A: T.H.E. Foundation is guided by a Board of Directors comprised of parents, community members and PFA/PFC presidents, all of whom are deeply committed to preserving the quality of our public schools. T.H.E. Foundation’s leadership draws upon the energies and talents of its individual members while responding to the expressed needs of our schools and the community. Get to know our Board by clicking here.
A: Since Proposition 13 in 1978, the responsibility for school funding shifted from the local level to the State level. However, the State has been failing to adequately fund our schools for years and there is no foreseeable reversal of this disastrous course. We must end our dependence on Sacramento’s financial turmoil.
These are the uncomfortable financial truths:
- Since 2006, LVUSD’s budget has been cut by $10 million
- Plus an additional loss of $535,000 in mid-year cuts for the 2011-12 year
- Plus a minimum of $785,000 in 2012-13
- That adds up to over $11,000,000 in cuts to LVUSD in just 6 years
- On top of that, we are facing the potential of an additional $4 million in cuts for 2012-13, if anticipated revenue does not materialize at the State level.
- That is unacceptable!
T.H.E. Foundation was created because we believe the only way to protect the quality of our children’s education is to take back fiscal control of our District. Our goal is raise enough money on a sustainable and consistent basis so that what happens in Sacramento becomes inconsequential to LVUSD’s annual operating budget.
A: Yes, however, the Federal and Local Funds account for only $1,273 in annual per student funding. The State of California currently funds $6,828 - for a combined total of $8,101 per student annual funding. The current cost per student at LVUSD is $8,569. This leaves an unfunded $468 per student annual deficit. LVUSD has become a District operating in deficit spending, which still doesn’t address that we are not even at the “average” level of spending per pupil relative to other states in our nation.
Our District has done a great job finding funds to limit the impact of the financial crisis on our community. Those funds are gone. There is no more money coming from the Federal government, the State, the City Councils or local tax increases. If we want to make our schools excellent again, it is up to us!
A: The Las Virgenes Unified School District is a destination district. People move to our community for the excellence in our public schools. There is a link between a high-performing, fully funded school district and elevated property values, thriving businesses and a high quality of life. Therefore, the quality of our public schools is intertwined with the status of our community as a destination district. So, even if you do not have children in the schools, it is still in our collective best interest for you to support T.H.E Foundation.
A: A community problem requires a community solution! The responsibilities for funding should be shared by all entities that make up our district - parents, residents, businesses, corporations, foundations and the various cities within the LVUSD. T.H.E. Foundation is uniting these entities through donation drives, events and sponsorships. Together, we make a significant impact and our donations will help save teachers, counselors & programs that keep class sizes small and provide for more individualized student instruction.
A: T.H.E. Foundation exists solely to support education within the LVUSD. It is the only education foundation the District has endorsed or will collaborate with on fundraising projects.
A: There are numerous ways to get involved! T.H.E. Foundation is dependent upon those who give their time and money generously. We hope that you, your family or business, will join us this year by attending T.H.E. Event and volunteering or helping us to cultivate new fundraisers and relationships. You do not need to be on our Board of Directors to get involved. Please click here for more information.
What happens to K-3 class sizes if we fail to raise enough funding to offset the cuts we are facing?
A: The latest studies clearly demonstrate the importance of excellent early education. LVUSD has always recognized that need and has worked harder to maintain smaller K-3 class sizes than any other school district in the region. Currently, our K-3 class size average is an impressive 22 students per teacher, but that may be increased to 24 or 25 to 1 in the coming year. By comparison, grades 4 and 5 average 30 students per teacher. However, with fewer and fewer dollars, these vital classes will need to be combined, resulting in more students per teacher. If we fail to raise enough money, we will see cumulatively more students in each class over the next four years.