CFSD Foundation - FAQ
How will my donation be spent and how do I know that it will not go into a “general fund” and diverted to other district expenses?
The CFSD Foundation is specific in its mission to fund teaching positions and the CFSD Challenge helps the Foundation meet that mission. The Foundation is a 501c. (3) organization set up to support the district and its commitment to excellence through meeting the educational needs of students at every levels of the education process. The Foundation’s gift of funds is a separate line item in the district’s budget and thus will not be pooled into its “general fund.” This is a cash-controlled account. The Foundation’s quarterly payments go into the fund and the actual salary and benefit bi-monthly payments for the twelve teachers (whose positions were saved by the Foundation) are paid out of there. This campaign is saving teaching positions.
Tell me where the monies raised last year are going to this school year!
The CFSD Foundation saved twelve (12) teaching positions across K-12 through its $500,000 gift for 2009–2010. The 12 positions included 5 at the elementary level (all four schools), 2 at the middle level (both schools), and 5 at the high school level. These positions mean that class sizes everywhere are smaller than they would have been otherwise.
Additionally, at the high school level more sections of English, social studies and science could be offered. Without these sections, not only would other classes be potentially larger but some students would not have had access to a full daily schedule of the courses that they wanted to take.
How is this effort going to preserve the quality of education?
CFSD is the “platinum standard” in public education—the district is well respected from the local level, to the state level and has become recognized as a standard of excellence on the national level. It is our goal to maintain that standard and offer students the opportunity to excel and use what they learn at CFSD when they move on to higher education. Many elite colleges specifically recruit students from CFSD because of its reputation for high quality learning and excelling performance.
Does this fundraising campaign let our State Legislators off the hook from having to adequately fund public education in district #16?
This is not about the State Legislature; it is about what those in the district can do to empower the CFSD to proceed with its goal of providing excellence in our classrooms. We can’t rely on the State Legislators doing the right thing in providing adequate funding for its public school system.
These are hard economic times. How can you expect each family in the district to give $500 to the campaign?
Yes, we agree and share your concern; however, if each family cannot give $500, we ask that you reach out to others in your community to help contribute to the campaign. We believe there are many people who want to see public education flourish—your neighbors, your business colleagues, your relatives & beyond—the community shares in its civic pride of CFSD. This is an opportunity to engage others in the community and ask for a commitment to become part of the solution. We will see brighter days ahead and even the smallest contributor can support one of the best school districts in the nation! It’s empowering to bring the community into this effort to provide continuity of excellence in our school district.
I am particularly interested in making sure certain specialized instruction at my child’s school will be maintained—how can I direct my contribution to that program?
CFSD prides itself in delivering similar programs in each of its schools soeach maintains “Excelling”status. The district wants specialized instruction for each of its schools and each student to get what it needs to reach its highest potential. This CFSD Challenge is raising money to reinstate teaching positions in order to maintain a lower class size. Also, the funds will maintain teaching positions to provide specialized instruction as well as courses that other public schools just don’t offer. With the funding in-place, we can be assured the current program level can continue at all CFSD schools!
Seems like property taxes rates are so high in the foothills area that make up the district, why isn’t that enough to cover the cost of the public schools?
The property tax rate is uniform from one part of the metropolitan area to the next; district #16’s property tax rate is not higher than elsewhere. What is higher is the property values. Many of us consciously decided to live inside CFSD boundaries to give our children the best-possible education and with that, the desirability of the district’s schools along with the foothills being an attractive place to live, make our property values higher than other parts of the metro area of Tucson. Because Arizona is equal education funding state, each CFSD student enrolled gets the same dollar amount from the State that other school districts receive for their students
Why do we need to do all of this fund-raising again this school year?
The Arizona Legislature anticipates continued stress on the State budget this next year. CFSD has relied on the Foundation to help fill important budget gaps for many years – this year’s need is even greater for ensuring the funding is in the budget for next year’s operation, we can retain the teaching positions and ensure programs aren’t cut from our schools. It is critical to the Foundation to help the district meet its funding goal and we need your help right now.
So, I have already contributed to the district for my children’s extra curricular activities through the tax credit contribution and to my school’s FFO’s, does that count toward this Foundation fund-raising campaign?
Those are separate contributions from the Foundation’s efforts and we think it is important for everyone to take advantage of the tax credit contributions toward extra curricular activities, plus support the schools’ FFO efforts to fund individual school requests. However, the CFSD Challenge specifically is raising money to maintain excellence in our school district by funding teaching positions that will otherwise be cut due to budget shortfalls attributable to State cuts this year.
What happens if we don’t meet the $500,000 funding goal?
Our children are counting on us to make every effort to meet the goal and keep excellence in CFSD schools. It’s not in our nature to fail and we know the community is committed to seeing public education succeed. We can’t do it without your help and others in the district. Donate today!
I pay thousands of dollars a year in property taxes. And I even give tax-credit dollars at the end of the year. Isn't that enough?
Unfortunately, no. Property taxes do not influence how much money our students receive. All schools in Arizona receive the same dollar per student regardless of location. And unlike in private schools, the tax-credit contributions can only be used for after-school programs. Which leaves strained budgets for academic programs that our students need.
I thought our schools were among the best in the state, if not the nation?
CFSD’s schools are consistently labeled excelling by the state. That success is underwritten in part by Foundation efforts. By people like you.
I don't have children in CFSD schools. Why should I be concerned?
The district has a long history of providing excellent schools for its students and there is a direct correlation between the success and reputation of our schools and Catalina Foothills property values. Low levels of funding will impact our schools' programs. The quality of our public schools is a critical factor in making our neighborhoods a more desirable place to live. Your investment today will pay a lifetime of dividends for your children and neighbors.