A District Funded by the Local Community
Maintaining the high standards for education we expect for our students is a community effort. The Mill Valley School District is a Basic Aid, or community funded, district in which state and federal government funding make up around 13% of all funding. Local property taxes, parcel taxes, and other local sources make up 87% of funding, including approximately 5% of the district's funding which comes from parent and community donations to the Mill Valley Schools Community Foundation (Kiddo!) and our school PTAs.
Each public school district in California is classified as either a Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) or Basic Aid district, based on whether property taxes generated in the district reach a particular per student amount. In an LCFF district, the local property taxes do not meet the per student amount, and the State provides the remainder of funds needed. Mill Valley School District is a Basic Aid district, meaning our local property taxes meet the per student amount, the State provides only a nominal amount per student to our district, and we retain any local property taxes beyond the per student amount. As a result, state and federal funding accounts for 13% of our district's budget.
To provide sufficient revenue to support the experienced teachers and quality academic programs in our district, we also rely heavily on parcel taxes approved by Mill Valley voters. In 2016, Mill Valley residents approved Measure E, a vital parcel tax measure which accounts for approximately 21% of the district’s budget. A supplemental parcel tax that was passed in 2012 expired this past June.
Parent and Community Donations
About 5% of district revenue comes from parent and community donations to our funding partners, Kiddo! and our school PTAs. Learn more about those organizations below.
Who Are Our Partners?
Kiddo!, the non-profit Mill Valley Schools Community Foundation, is the primary fundraising entity for the district, raising about $3 million annually from district parents, businesses, foundations, alumni, grandparents, and the local community. Kiddo!'s core purpose is to fund comprehensive, district-wide arts education programs that equitably benefit every child at all six of our schools.
Kiddo-funded teachers and programs include art, vocal and instrumental music, curriculum-integrated drama, dance, and poetry. To allow for district budget planning, Kiddo! begins raising funds in May for the following school year. Each family is generally asked to contribute a suggested donation amount.
Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) are non-profit organizations that advocate for children, build community for families and fundraise at each school. The PTAs of all five elementary schools and the middle school fund critical site-specific needs. Our PTAs work with the principals at each site to fund many site-specific programs. Our PTAs support programming both in the classroom, to enhance and enrich student education, as well as school-wide events to build community.
In addition to site-specific programs that build the character of each of our schools, all Mill Valley PTAs fund school supplies, library books, student assemblies, and emergency preparation. Mill Valley’s PTAs raise over $950,000 for our schools annually. In general, our PTAs raise money in the fall to be spent during that same school year. Each PTA conducts its fundraising based on what works best for its community, which can range from First Day Asks to Fall Fundraising Parties to Community Walk-A-Thons and more. Often, PTA fundraising activities are co-mingled with large-scale community building events.
The Community Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) is composed of residents of Mill Valley School District who have skills, knowledge and experience in financial matters, particularly budgets, policy-making or financial planning. The mission of CFAC is to advise the Superintendent on matters relating to the long-term financial health of the District
Together Every Step of the Way
We encourage the entire community to participate in our budget development process. We want you with us every step of the way: understanding how the district is funded, what may affect that funding, and how decisions are made, and why.
Our priorities in approaching budget development:
- Informed decision-making
During our budget development process, all factors are taken into consideration as information develops from the county, state and larger economic trends. To participate in our budget process: