The purpose of this Budget Information section is to present parents and community members with the most current information regarding the district’s current budget and multi-year projections.
What Is A Community-Funded School District?
The Mill Valley School District (MVSD) is community funded (basic aid). State and federal government funding make up less than 10% of all funding. Local property taxes, parcel taxes, and other local sources make up 90% of funding. Of which, approximately 5% of the district's funding comes from the Mill Valley Schools Community Foundation (Kiddo!) and the school PTAs -- generous giving by parents and community members.
The Mill Valley Schools Community Foundation (Kiddo!) is a nonprofit organization that raises funds to support all K-8 education including art, music, drama, poetry, and dance. Kiddo! works to raise $1,350 per student to provide the funds to MVSD.
MVSD works with the school PTAs to help fund our schools. Community and family donations to the PTAs fund field trips, assemblies, community-building events, and classroom supplies.
Please see the MVSDTogether Funding Alliance page for more information about Kiddo! And the PTAs.
A Closer Look at the Numbers
In our district, several factors help determine the dollars spent per child each academic year. State and federal funding accounts for less than 10% of the school district's budget.
Each of California’s nearly 1,000 public school districts receives one of two revenue classifications – "Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)" or "Basic Aid" – and it is this classification that is used to determine how much funding the State provides to each district.
First, the State of California calculates each district’s LCFF using historical per student amounts that are adjusted annually, usually by a cost of living adjustment. The State then determines if each district generates enough local property taxes to reach its calculated LCFF. If a district’s local property taxes ARE NOT sufficient to meet the LCFF calculated by the State, then that district is classified as a "Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)" district. For each "LCFF" district, the State provides the remainder of funding needed to reach the LCFF. In an LCFF district, the state provides additional (or less) funding as enrollment increases (or decreases).
If a district’s local property taxes ARE sufficient to meet the LCFF set by the State, then that district is classified as a "Basic Aid" district. The State provides only additional funding of $120 per student to that district. Any local property taxes beyond the LCFF are retained by the district. Mill Valley School District qualifies as a Basic Aid district.
In 2016, Mill Valley residents approved Measure E, a vital parcel tax measure that provides local funds to support the experienced teachers and quality academic programs in our district. This parcel tax accounts for approximately 20% of the district’s budget. The supplemental parcel tax passed in 2012 will expire on June 30, 2021.
Wise Fiscal Management and Stewardship
Mill Valley School District’s Board of Trustees is made up of 5 members. The board members act as liaisons to our schools. This system helps facilitate communication between the Board and each school. The Board welcomes dialogue with the community and holds monthly meetings that are open to our public. The role of the Board covers four broad areas of responsibility:
- Establishing a vision for the District
- Establishing an effective and efficient organizational structure
- Ensuring accountability
- Advocating on behalf of children and public education
In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the Board:
- selects and evaluates the superintendent
- sets policy for hiring of personnel
- adopts and evaluates policies
- adopts and monitors curriculum
- adopts budgets and monitors the District's fiscal accountability for the long term
- negotiates and adopts collective bargaining agreements
- creates an environment that promotes excellence and enhanced communication among our various constituencies.
The Mill Valley School District is one of only 7 in the state of California to receive Aaa bond ratings from both Standard & Poor's (S&P) and Moody's credit rating agency. Standard & Poor's confirmed the District's AAA bond rating, one of only 84 school districts in the nation.
They cited the District's wise fiscal management and stewardship. S&P also provided feedback to the District that the local community's willingness to support its schools financially was a large contributing factor to the superior rating.
The District’s AAA rating saved the taxpayers of Mill Valley between $650,000 and $1.7 million over the duration of the bond period.
Annually, we have an independent auditor review all of our financial statements and review internal controls. All of these reports are posted on our website.
Additionally, in our school community, we have an independent advisory committee of individuals with backgrounds in investment, marking, and communication. The Community Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) meets quarterly with our district administration.
The role of CFAC is to:
- Review the Mill Valley School District’s budget on a periodic basis and to identify and analyze important long-term financial trends and issues for Board focus (e.g. Enrollment trends, facilities cost and use, reserve requirements, dependence on local taxes).
- Collect, review, and analyze important financial data, trends, community perceptions and "best practices" that may improve the Superintendent’s decision-making in the financial arena.
- Provide information and recommendations to the Superintendent, in a timely manner, which relate to financial decisions before the Superintendent.
- Contribute to District communications/outreach efforts aimed at educating the community on financial matters (e.g. newsletters, speaking engagements to community groups).