SCEF Survey FAQs

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey and for your commitment to SCEF and our kids! If you have questions about SCEF, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

  1. I understand that San Carlos is among the lowest funded school districts that feed into the Sequoia High School Unified District. However, I don’t understand why this is the case. Can you explain?


    State Funding for San Carlos public schools is directly impacted by the passage of Proposition 13 that was passed in 1978 by California voters. Proposition 13 reduced overall property taxes by approximately 50% and also “froze” allocations of each individual’s property tax bill to various local agencies (school districts, city, county, community college district, health district, et al).  So, the allocation of property taxes today is effectively based upon the relative needs of each of these agencies in 1978. In addition, San Carlos does not have a large property tax base compared to many neighboring towns due to the lack of bigger businesses. Even though residents who purchased a home here after 1978 pay a relatively high amount in property taxes due to the high property values, the total allocation of the property tax roll slated for the San Carlos School District is actually less than the mandated state minimum (the “Revenue Limit”), so the state must “backfill” remaining money. Effectively, there is no relationship between the amount San Carlos residents pay in property taxes and what is received by the school district; the district’s budget is determined by the state.


    For a more in depth explanation, please see our Education Finance Video at

  2. Didn’t the State’s Local Control Fund Formula increase funding for schools?


    The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is a new methodology for determining the former “Revenue Limit,” the allocation that most school districts (including San Carlos) get from the State per student. The formula was designed to provide greater weight (and hence more funding) to districts with larger populations of children in poverty and children who are English language learners. San Carlos, having a relatively low percentage of these greater need populations, receives a lower allocation. Due to the overall improvement in the state economy, most school district’s per student funding will increase slightly this year with both one-year funding and some ongoing funding.  

  3. What about Measure P that the voters approved last year? Doesn’t this provide additional funding to the schools?


    Yes. The passage of Measure P will help our schools. It ensures that the parcel taxes supporting the schools will continue for an additional six years and increase the tax by $58 per parcel. This will result in approximately $530,000 in additional annual funding. This funding will help pay teachers and other operating costs, and together with SCEF grants will provide increased services in library, technology support, counseling, literacy, and professional development, among other areas.

  4. With the passage of measure P, why should I still support SCEF?


    As stated above, Measure P increases school funding by $530,000. SCEF this year will make over $2.4 million in grants to the District and CLC. While the increased parcel tax is extremely important, the schools still count on SCEF to support core programs. SCEF represents approximately 7% of the District budget, and community support is still needed to keep our schools strong.

  5. Why does SCEF discourage schools from doing their own fundraising?


    While it is true that SCEF is based on the model of district-wide fundraising to ensure that all San Carlos schools are strong, we actively support the PTA and CLC-FA and PRT’s efforts to build strong school communities. Through movie nights, fun runs, walk-a-jogs, carnivals and chili cook offs, each school has a unique culture and community and we in no way seek to discourage those activities. Additionally, SCEF produces a number of fundraising events large and small to create opportunities for parents to connect and support their schools. In addition, parents often host parties to which SCEF sells tickets. The proceeds benefit all of our schools.


    Our experience has proven that District-wide fundraising lifts all boats. We are raising more together than we did apart. San Carlos is a very rare school district that can say that there is equity among all of our schools.


  6. Why is the ask $1,200 per student?


    We have pledged to the School District to raise $2.5 million in funding this year. Based on past giving patterns, we estimate that $1,200 per student is what we need to suggest in order to meet our goal. Of course, parents donate according to their ability with some donating less or purchasing auction items and others joining our Leadership Circle and contributing more. We are grateful for all gifts. We do offer parents the ability to donate monthly through a recurring charge to your credit card.


    We also receive matching gifts from many local employers who double your donation. Please to see if your employer will match your gift to SCEF.


    You can learn more about these options by going to our website at

  7. Can you explain how technology funding is distributed?


    SCEF provides funds to purchase devices (iPads, Chromebooks, etc.) for students and to cover a portion of the cost of IT support staff software and infrastructure costs.

  8. What are Principal Flex Funds?


    Each school is given a Principal Flex Fund grant based on the student population. Working with his/her Site Council, each principal uses these funds to directly benefit the specific needs of that school. Last year, SCEF also provided funding to each school to help cover the majority of field trip expenses.


  9. What is Fund-A-Need?


    Fund-A-Need is a special campaign that is conducted by SCEF as part of our fundraising events. Each year the district identifies a unique need or needs for the next school year, and we raise restricted gifts to fulfill this purpose. Fund-A-Need dollars raised last year are being used to buy Middle School instruments and fulfill individual school site wish lists.

  10. What is the Educator Innovation Fund?


    Due to the generosity of the San Carlos community we were able to create the educator innovation fund which enables educators to apply for grants. To-date we have granted over $50,000 to directly support educator initiatives. These have included projects around literacy, science (including robotics, engineering, and physics), mathematics, social/emotional learning, and media.

  11. I am not sure where my SCEF donation goes? Can you explain how the funds raised are used?


    SCEF donations raised last school year will be used as follows:



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