FAQs

EFO: Frequently Asked Questions

 

What does the Educational Foundation of Orinda do?
What is EFO’s objective?
How much support does EFO provide to Orinda schools?
How is EFO’s budget set each year?
How much does EFO contribute toward my child’s education?
How does EFO reach its fundraising goals?

What are EFO's Funding Guidelines?

What is the Funds Functioning as Endowment?
How much money does the State provide to Orinda schools?

Why do we need a parcel tax in addition to EFO?
How are EFO’s operations overseen?
How does EFO guarantee its commitment to Orinda schools each year

 

What does the Educational Foundation of Orinda do?
For over 40 years, the Educational Foundation of Orinda (EFO), a largely volunteer-based, nonprofit organization, has raised money to improve and enhance the education provided in public schools in Orinda. State funding in California is insufficient to cover core academic and enrichment programs which we believe are essential in our schools. EFO helps fill the gap between what it costs to provide a well-rounded, high quality education for Orinda’s students and what is funded by State, local and federal sources.

 

What is EFO’s objective?
Building on a tradition of strong community support for educational excellence in Orinda’s schools, EFO’s mission is to provide financial support for quality programs and enrichment opportunities which directly benefit students in the Orinda Union School District (OUSD) and at Miramonte High School (MHS).

How much support does EFO provide to Orinda schools?
EFO’s pledge to OUSD and MHS for the 2019-2020 school year is $1.7M. Together EFO, Parents’ Clubs and local parcel taxes will fund approximately one-third of the General Fund budget for the TK/K-8 OUSD and approximately one-quarter of MHS’s budget.

 

How is EFO’s budget set each year?
EFO’s annual budget for Orinda schools is developed collaboratively with OUSD and MHS through a yearly prioritization process and in accordance with EFO’s funding guidelines. The budget serves as the basis for EFO’s funding goals.

 

How much does EFO contribute toward my child’s education?
EFO’s goal is to distribute funds on an equal per-pupil basis at each school level from kindergarten through eighth grade and through high school. EFO funds specifically support the following programs during the 2019-2020 school year:

 

  $1,165,000 to OUSD:
 

  • In the TK/K-5th grade levels, EFO funds 100% of teacher salaries for Art, Choral Music, and Instrumental Music instruction.

  • In addition, EFO partners with Parents’ Clubs to fund class size reduction in grades TK/K-3.

  • At OIS, EFO partners with the OIS Parents' Club to fund a portion of teachers' salaries and benefits for all electives including: Art (I/II), Sculpture, Computer graphics and programming, Web design, Robotics, Woodshop, Drama (I/II), Chorus, Concert Band, Jazz Band, String Orchestra, Yearbook, French (I/II), Spanish (I/II), Public speaking, Debate, MakerSpace, Leadership and Video Production/KOIS Broadcasting.

  • EFO also funds 100% of the librarian position at OIS.

  $535,000 to Miramonte:

EFO is the largest voluntary funding source at Miramonte High School, funding academic, visual and performing arts, and student support programs.

  Academic Support

  • Instructional supplies and materials for:

    • Career Tech Education (Foods, Architecture, Computer Science)

    • Visual and Performing Arts (Public Speaking, Drama, Instrumental Music, Chorus, Art, Photography, Video Production)

  • Wellness Center

  • Counseling and Intervention Specialists

  • Library supplies, books and databases

  • Technology *

  • Collaboration between OIS and MHS teachers

  • Student Support (Exam Jam, Labs) *

       *Shared expenses with MHS Parents’ Club. 

  Class Sections

  • 100% funding for 14 class periods preserving the 7-period academic day and providing greater access to Advanced, Honors and AP classes  (*Shared expenses with MHS Parents' Club)

                                         

  Student Enrichment Programs 

  • WISE, Mock Trial, Model UN, Link Crew, Latin, NatureBridge, WiSTEM, Academic Decathlon, Senior Field Trip to Olympic Park, and Freshmen Field Trip to Yosemite.

 

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How does EFO reach its fundraising goals?
EFO relies on and expects contributions from all OUSD and Miramonte families every year. EFO also receives valuable contributions from local businesses and the community at large.

What are EFO's funding guidelines?

To be considered for funding, programs must show a direct impact on students in the classroom. Moreover, EFO places a high priority on enrichment programs that present opportunities to as many students as possible and for educational programs that could not be supported at an appropriate level without the assistance of EFO. The Foundation also works to ensure continuity in opportunities between the elementary, intermediate and high schools. Programs include: library services, music, visual and performing arts, a variety of elective opportunities and student counseling services.

 

Most program-related funding is used for recurring costs such as teacher salaries. As a general rule, EFO does not provide funding for capital improvements or physical operations.

 

Funding of programs within OUSD and at Miramonte is a collaborative process between EFO, the schools, and other parent organizations. The EFO board maintains responsibility for ensuring that its funds are directed towards programs that advance the Foundation’s mission and may decline to fund those programs which do not meet these funding guidelines. Funding decisions are made on an annual basis for the following school year.

 

EFO also maintains Funds Functioning as Endowment to ensure continuation of EFO-funded programs in the event of economic uncertainty.

What is the Funds Functioning as Endowment?

The backbone of EFO funding is EFO’s “Funds Functioning as Endowment” (FFE). With approximately $1.3 million in reserve, the FFE guarantees that from year-to-year our schools can rely on funds for essential programs and services. While contributions raised each year go directly to OUSD and Miramonte for budgeted programs, any monies collected above the annual pledge to the schools roll into the FFE and are invested along with the principal in low-risk securities. In turn, the FFE returns 4.5% of its principal each year to OUSD and Miramonte. As the FFE continues to grow, so will these “secure” dollars – once again, ensuring that the schools have the money they need to bridge the state funding gap.

 

How much money does the State provide to Orinda schools?
The amount of money provided by the State of California has decreased substantially over the years. California spends less per student than almost every other state in the Nation. Further, the State does not require or fund many of the courses and programs currently offered in schools in Orinda. The federal government provides almost no funding to support Orinda schools.

With the passing of Proposition 30 in November 2012, state funding is still inadequate and is not expected to return to 2007-2008 levels for some time. Without support from EFO, many programs that contribute to an exceptional education for Orinda students would no longer be possible.

 

Why do we need a parcel tax in addition to EFO?
Orinda’s parcel tax is applied to nearly every real estate parcel in Orinda (with the exception of exempted seniors). Thus, almost every property in Orinda helps to support our schools. This seems fair and equitable since the high caliber of schools in Orinda consistently supports higher property values here.

This year, Orinda schools are expected to receive 10-14% of budget from the local parcel tax. While the parcel tax is a significant source of revenue for our schools, it is not enough to cover the full cost of a well-rounded education for Orinda’s students.

 

How are EFO’s operations overseen?
EFO is run by a paid Executive Director and a 25-member Board of Directors of dedicated parent volunteers with professional expertise in a variety of areas including fundraising, finance, development, business, marketing and the law. Each director has a personal and fiduciary responsibility to ensure that EFO is run ethically and that all finances are reported accurately. ​EFO’s annual report and financial statements are posted on the website.

 

How does EFO guarantee its commitment to Orinda schools each year?
EFO guarantees funds to support its commitment to Orinda’s schools through its Funds Functioning as an Endowment (“FFE”). Due to the FFE, EFO is in a strong financial position and can commit to programs with recurring costs and to pay staff salaries and benefits. Investments are overseen and directed by an Investment Committee that reports to EFO’s Board of Directors. The Investment Committee is comprised of a board member and two investment professionals.

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Educational Foundation of Orinda - 21 C Orinda Way #123, Orinda CA 94563  (925) 322-0336

EFO is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Tax ID #94-2623617

Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.