The Corte Madera Larkspur Schools Foundation (SPARK) was founded by concerned parents in 1980 in response to the passage of Proposition 13 which cut deeply into local school funding. Over the past 30+ years our schools have weathered numerous state budget crises which have made government funding unreliable and inadequate to support all the elements of a well-rounded education for our children. The state of California ranks 49th in the nation in expenditure per student. SPARK works in partnership with the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District, site-based organizations and the community to enrich the educational experience of all students in the District by raising $1.2 million for the 2011-2012 school year.
SPARK supports a quality, well-rounded education by funding music, art, science, technology and library services for all 1,420 students in the LCMSD. When integrated with the regular K-8 curriculum, research shows that these programs can improve performance in reading, math, cognitive ability and critical thinking. We’ve outlined below our revenue sources and budget plans.
The SPARK Annual Giving Campaign, which makes up 66% of the total dollars raised by SPARK each year, kicks off in the Fall with a back-to-school campaign mailing and Donation Day drive. We then follow up with a Spring campaign to bring in the more than $750,000 in private funding needed to meet our goals. Our generous local and family business supporters generate another 5%. SPARK events, such as the Fall Golf Tournament, Spring Fashion Show and the annual Auction Party together raise 24% of the revenue. And finally, the eScrip program brings in 4%.
All of the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District’s music, art, science and technology teachers are paid through SPARK contributions. This includes 3 art teachers, 2 music teachers, 3 science/tech specialists and 1 librarian. SPARK also pays for materials and supplies for these programs which includes all of the technology equipment District-wide, additional services and programs for Library, Outdoor Ed, Mathletes and teacher mini grants.