Millbrae Education Foundation
Our Kids. Our Future. Our Choice.

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Millbrae Education Foundation FAQ

What is the MEF, and what does it fund?

Established in 2007, to protect our children’s education from endless cutbacks, the MEF is a non-profit, 100% volunteer organization.  The MEF is devoted to raising money to hire certificated staff (credentialed teachers), and fund the programs our kids and schools need to meet new common core standards and succeed academically and beyond.  We are also the only organization that can fundraise specifically to hire teachers.

In 2012-2013, we raised $280,000. These funds are being used this academic year as follows:

  • Ongoing funding of two full-time Technology teachers and a district-wide technology program.
  • Supporting important teacher training focused on technology and the new common core standards.
  • New funding for an elementary Music teacher who’ll provide music education and enriching learning opportunities for all students in grades K-5. This program will include classroom music lessons for grades K-4 and instrumental music for beginning band and orchestra to 5th graders. (Made possible, in part, by the Millbrae School District’s funding of the instructional aides that the MEF has funded in the past.)

Community support and generous donations of time, money, and in-kind gifts make this possible!

What has the MEF funded in recent years?

  • 2010-2011, the MEF funded a grades 4-8 music program and instructional aides.
  • 2011-2012, the MEF funded a full-time counselor at Taylor and instructional aides.
  • 2012-2013, the MEF funded a new district-wide technology program and instructional aides.

The Millbrae School district now funds a music program at Taylor and instructional aides in our elementary schools. The Peninsula Health Care District now funds the counselor at Taylor, as well as providing comprehensive Physical Education, and other important health programs for our schools. As a result, MEF has shifted funding efforts to technology programming and support for our students and teachers, as well as music education in all of our elementary schools.

That’s great! How can we fund even more teachers and programs?
We are encouraged by the progress we are making as a district, and, as always, grateful to all who have donated, and supported our efforts.  Our goal this year is, RETAIN, RESTORE, REDUCE! (the 3 R’s)

If we raise:

$300,000, we RETAIN the technology and music programs we are funding now.

$500,000, we expand what we’re funding and RESTORE more programs no longer funded by the state, but essential to our children’s success and education.

$1 million we can continue to fund these programs and help REDUCE class sizes by hiring additional classroom teachers.
The more we raise the more we can do. Neighboring districts, including Burlingame and San Carlos, have done it. With everyone’s participation, Millbrae can too!

How much should I to donate to the MEF each year?
The MEF asks each family donate $450 per child each year to help us reach our goal.

However, with everyone’s participation at any level we can achieve our collective goal: making our children’s education our top priority.


If MEF received donations equal to $450 per child, we could easily raise the $1 million we need to help reduce class sizes. Did you know that $450 per student, per year only comes out to about $2.50 per day – that’s about as much as your daily cup of coffee or a latte.  It’s a wise investment that we can make in our community, our schools, and our most of all…our children!


We know not every family can give $450 per child. But when every family gives something, everyone benefits! Your participation is critical to our success and crucial to how much programming and staffing we can provide for our schools and our children’s education. 


Donating is easy, flexible, and fully tax-deductible. You can send a check to:

Millbrae Education Foundation

PO BOX 580
Millbrae, CA 94030


Or, you can donate online at at


What if I can't afford to make my donation as a lump sum? Can I make monthly payments?

Definitely! Visit our website ( for installment payment options using Paypal.  As an example, for $50 per month you can make your full $450 over nine months.


How does the MEF work? How do you decide what to fund?

We collaborate with our district, its board of trustees, and our PTAs to ensure that the funds raised best support the needs of our children. Specifically, the MEF can grant funds to our district for quality instruction and the professionals needed to staff enrichment programs in reading, math, science, technology, and the arts—programs that are no longer funded by the state. The MEF is the only organization that can provide this supplemental funding here in Millbrae.  Every dollar donated to MEF stays right here in Millbrae supporting our schools and the needs of our children.


What does MEF raise money for, and what does my school PTA raise money for?

MEF and our PTAs raise money for different things that all help our schools and our children. The MEF grants funds to our district for enriched curriculum, and quality instruction. PTAs raise money for classroom enrichment, essential supplies, and field-trips. The MEF is the only organization that can fund the professionals (teachers) needed to staff the programs that are the difference between a basic and quality education.  





Why do our schools need money? I thought education was supposed to be free…

Basic education is free, as mandated by our state’s constitution, but quality education is not. Because the state does not provide more than barebones funding for our district, we need parents and community members to supplement. Current funding from the state is inadequate, and current projections are that it will continue to decline. The national average for per student public education funding is about $9,000, and states with the best schools spend upwards of $13,000 per student. The Millbrae School District receives less than $5,000 per student from the state, significantly less than half of what other states spend. The MEF is the only organization in Millbrae that can provide the supplemental funding needed to bridge the gap between a barebones district and one that academically thrives. It is possible to have great schools during a budget crisis—but only if we all donate to and support the MEF.      


But I enrolled my child in a Millbrae public school to avoid paying the fees of private and parochial schools...

Private schools on the peninsula cost approximately $10,000 per child a year, and parochial schools cost around $6,000, usually carrying with them religious obligations that may or may not meet the spiritual needs of the child's family. $450 a child per year is a bargain by comparison. This money supports the child, the district, and the democratic ideal of quality education for every child regardless of race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, gender, or socio-economic status.


I Know the California budget is a problem, but I don’t understand how it specifically impacts Millbrae schools…  

Understanding the state’s budget and how it works is confusing. The bottom line is that with our state’s current budget our district can’t fund all of the teachers and programs our children deserve.  Education Foundations like the MEF can provide a stable, consistent source of revenue for our district.  It’s important for us to continue to support our schools by continuing to raise more money to hire more teachers. With everyone’s participation we will  reduce the student to teacher ratio.


Is Millbrae the only community affected? How are our neighboring communities dealing with it?

Millbrae is not the only community affected. All public schools in California are dealing with the budget crisis, and all of them are looking for alternate ways to provide a stable source of income for their schools. Education foundations, like the MEF, exist throughout the state to raise money for their district schools. Districts with robust, well-supported education foundations are often able to keep their student: teacher ratios lower, are able to restore lost programs, and maintain enough teachers and staff in their classrooms.


How strong is the MEF?

For being only six years old, we are strong, and, with your generosity and support, getting even stronger! We are seeing our participation and volunteer rates increase, we have more corporate support than ever, and every year we raise more money, last year raising over $20,000 more than the year before. This is terrific news, and should encourage us all. It is possible to have great schools during a budget crisis—but only if we all donate to and support the MEF.    


Our Kids. Our Future. Our Choice.
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