CFSD Foundation - How is this Different?Why do we Need a Foundation to Support the Catalina Foothills School District?
In Arizona, all schools receive the same amount of state funds per student, regardless of location. Parents and community members in our school district have an active and productive history of enhancing those state dollars through a number of volunteer-based initiatives. The Catalina Foothills School District Foundation is a private, nonprofit corporation of parents and community members committed to raising funds for the public schools in our district. They provide support for district-wide programs, resources and teacher compensation—for better education.
There are other sources of funding for various school and school-related activities, each of which serves a purpose. Following are brief descriptions of various ways that our schools and associated activities are funded—through public and private contribution.
Current state funding falls far short of what our schools and our children need for an excellent education. Although CFSD has been labeled excelling for 3 years running, it is a growing challenge to maintain that level of excellence.
Traditionally, public school funding is derived from property taxes. Homeowners in the Catalina Foothills School District tend to pay thousands of dollars each year in property taxes, and renters pay rents that take high taxation into consideration. Why is that not enough?
Area-specific property taxes do not influence how much money our local public schools receive in Arizona. In Arizona, property taxes are collected and divided up so that all public schools, regardless of location or local tax base, receive the same number of dollars per student, and Arizona schools continue to rank at the bottom of the country in per pupil spending. CFSD receives approximately $5,500 per child to provide a complete education. This compares to the national average of $6,500 to $7,500. While one might debate what the “right” number is for adequate financial support for public education no one can argue that current funding is adequate.
Budget Override Funds
Local communities can and do vote for funding “overrides” that provide a supplement to state funding through property tax increases, and Catalina Foothills School District residents have traditionally been very supportive of the schools when overrides are on the ballot. The state of Arizona allows us to raise 10 percent of our budget for K-12 and an additional 5 percent for K-3. Fortunately, our community has consistently approved this budget override (voting occurs every five years), and this funding is included in the $5,500 per child that we have to work with. Beyond this, we do not have the ability to raise additional tax dollars to supplement our educational program budget. The only way we can increase spending for our schools is through private contributions from individuals and businesses.
Tax Credit Donation Dollars
Many residents of the Catalina Foothills School District donate money each year under the state’s ‘school tax credit’ program. The program, A.R.S. 43-1089, allows a tax credit (in 2006 that credit was $200 for individuals and $400 for married couples filing jointly) for donations made to a public school. Those tax credit donations, however, cannot be contributed to the academic/general education funds; they must be directed to support extracurricular activities. That is, they can only be used for after-school programs—sports and other after school activities (including C.A.R.E.), summer programs, etc. They cannot supplement the schools’ academic programs.
Family Faculty Organizations at Each School
School FFOs raise funds to enrich existing programs at each school site, and respond to individual requests from teachers and parents for school-based activities and needs. All parents are members of the FFO at their child’s school and each family typically has two votes on FFO matters, including how funds should be spent.
Booster Clubs are associated with and raise funds to support a particular school club or team. There are many groups, particularly at Catalina Foothills High School, including the Band Booster, Dugout Club, Girls Softball Boosters, Touchdown Club, etc.
These are small-scale activities, approved by the school and led by students, often in support of a class or grade-level goal such as a field trip, or other short-term mission. Examples of fundraisers typically include Popsicle sales, skate parties, hot chocolate sales, etc.
The Catalina Foothills School District Foundation
The Catalina Foothills School District Foundation, a private, nonprofit corporation of parents and community members committed to raising funds for the public schools in our district, needs your help in support of better education for students in the Catalina Foothills School District as we work to provide support for better education through funding for district-wide programs, resources and teacher compensation.
Click on the Donate Now button at the top of the page to make your donation on-line, or mail your check today to:
CFSD FoundationPO Box 65150
Tucson, AZ 85728-5150