Many people believe that property taxes along with local, state and federal revenues should cover the cost of a quality public school education. However, due to a number of voter decisions decades ago, California’s schools annually face a funding shortfall. Meaning what we receive each year from the state is significantly less than the actual cost of educating each student in LCMSD with the programs we all desire for our kids.
California ranks near the bottom in the nation in per-student funding for education and LCMSD schools receive among the lowest levels of per-student funding in California. The makeup of California’s funding formula has created a funding shortfall; what we receive from the state is significantly less than the actual cost of educating students in LCMSD.
Despite this funding shortfall, LCMSD’s three schools, The Cove School, Neil Cummins Elementary, and Hall Middle School are among the highest-performing schools in our region and the state due to the signature educational programs and services that are funded through generous donations that supplement public funding for our schools.
While our parcel tax revenue is used toward attracting and maintaining quality TK-8 teachers and bond measures are reserved for repairing and upgrading our aging school buildings to keep them modern and safe, SPARK raises the funds required to advance the academic experience beyond what is possible with public dollars alone. Donations to SPARK impact every LCMSD student by providing every student with access to Music, Art, Science, Technology/Engineering and Wellness/Counseling at all three schools, plus Spanish and Leadership at Hall Middle School.
With continued budget cuts from the state, maximizing fundraising and making efficient use of every dollar will be essential for preventing deep and devastating cuts to our programs and staff, enhancing the daily educational experience for every public school student. We risk these benefits and other school cuts if we are unable to meet our fundraising goals. The programming supported by community fundraising is the difference between our schools being good and our schools being great.
Annual Giving makes up approximately 70% of our overall revenue each year. In order to reach our $1.5M fundraising goal, we are asking for a donation of $1,250 per student with 100% family participation. Every single gift makes an impact on the students and it truly is a whole community effort to support our schools through SPARK. You can make a one-time donation online with a credit card or set up automatic monthly installments to spread your payments out over time. You can also pledge now and pay later.
*Percentages and dollar amounts are rounded up.
SPARK is dedicated to raising $1.5M for the 2023–2024 school year. These funds will be used to support 14 teachers salaries and benefits along with materials and supplies for 12 SPARK funded programs.
SPARK funds signature programs and services that directly benefit and impact the quality of education for every student from TK through 8th grade. Funded through the generosity of the our community, the programming and opportunities for our students make LCMSD schools a hallmark of our community.
In order to provide the well-rounded educational experience we have come to expect for our students, our schools rely on your donations to SPARK. The most important financial contribution you can make to SPARK is Annual Giving, which accounts for approximately 70% of our revenue.
Thanks to you, SPARK pays for salaries and benefits for 14 teachers across 12 programs in LCMSD, providing our students with access to a robust array of programs including: Music, Art, Science, Technology/Engineering and Wellness/Counseling at all three schools, plus Spanish and Leadership at Hall
The Larkspur-Corte Madera School Trustees and District administration determine the curriculum for the District, establish priorities for program development, and identify crucial District needs. SPARK then collaborates with the District to provide funding where needed to execute the Board-approved plan. All programs and services funded by SPARK are developed and managed by the District. As dollars are raised within the current school year, SPARK disperses those funds in four installments throughout the year to be used for The Cove School, Neil Cummins Elementary and Hall Middle School.