One Community LG is a collaboration between parents, schools, and the greater Los Gatos community to elevate the educational experience for our children beyond the basic state-funded curriculum. This is how we invest in our students and schools.
WHY DO WE NEED TO CONTRIBUTE WHEN OUR PROPERTY TAXES SUPPORT OUR SCHOOLS?
Before Prop 13, districts could count on tax income to meet their funding needs. In 1978, California school budgets were upwards of $9 billion. Prop 13 passed in 1979 and those school budgets were slashed overnight, by nearly 60%. California now ranks 19th in state funding per student (adjusted for cost per living).
Districts like ours are called “Basic Aid” which means we get very little funding from the state. Basic Aid districts are left raising money through community-funded means: local property taxes, parcel taxes, and parent contributions. The Los Gatos Union School District is a community-funded district and, because of Prop 13, we must make up a good portion of our budget through parcel taxes and parent contributions. In response to all of this, parents in our community created One Community LG, which is the Los Gatos Education Foundation and all five Home & School Clubs (Blossom Hill, Daves Avenue, Lexington, Van Meter, and Fisher) to restore the quality in our local schools. Los Gatos schools lag behind comparable districts in our state by ~20% for per student funding. The combination of property taxes, a parcel tax and contributions to both the LGEF and the H&SCs are crucial to provide what is needed to educate our students.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR OUR STUDENTS OF ALL GROUPS FUNDRAISING TOGETHER?
Utilizing a centralized approach makes the process more efficient and translates to more of the contributions going directly to cover student programs and staff working directly with students. More importantly, it is simpler for you, our families, to contribute. Now, you can make one payment for all your children and associated school(s). Your contribution is then allocated directly to the teachers, staff, and programs at your school(s). This is not a general fund, dividing up equally across all schools. Several successful school districts in California including Palo Alto, Piedmont, Menlo Park, Orinda and more are utilizing a centralized model to fundraise. By making fundraising more consolidated, streamlined and consistent, One Community LG has raised more money for our schools and takes advantage of efficiencies that occur when entities work together towards a common goal.
how is my contribution distributed?
Your money still goes where it always has: directly to cover your student at your school. One Community LG has all your student information and ensures your contribution is distributed to your Home & School Club and LGEF.
HOW DOES ONE COMMUNITY LG SUPPORT THE STRATEGIC PLAN FOR OUR STUDENTS?
The goal of our Strategic Plan and One Community LG is to strengthen our schools. We will do this by adding new staff and equipment in mental health, STEAM, art, and innovation, and providing extensive training for all staff in project based learning strategies. In this 2023-2024 school year, we now have Wellness Centers at every campus, STEAM Rooms in progress, and STEAM TOSAs (teachers on special assignment) for every school K-8, as well as two art teachers for our elementary students and Spanish language instruction for all students K-5. This is made possible by our investments in our children through One Community LG. To accomplish this goal for all students, our suggested contribution amount is $1,600 per student. As all students benefit, we strive for 100% participation. To learn more about the Strategic Plan, please check out the plan here or visit lgusd.org.
WHAT IS A HOME & SCHOOL CLUB (H&SC)?
Each school in the district has its own H&SC. They are non-profit volunteer organizations (similar to a PTA) that provide services and materials that enrich our students’ education and support our vibrant community of parents, children, teachers, and staff. We all come together to work on programs that benefit your child’s experience at your school. Not all H&SCs spend money in the same way. Some differences include: a pottery program and lunchtime STEAM Lab at Blossom Hill; collaboration labs and positive play programs at Daves; student curriculum and a STEAM Lab at Van Meter; Life Lab, and the International Baccalaureate program at Lexington; and at Fisher, the H&SC supports software, technology, supplies for general classes, such as heart rate monitors for PE and kits for science, and supplies for elective classes ranging from the Wheel to STEAM to Art. H&SCs provide volunteers and funding to help our schools' teachers and staff focus on educating our children and enriching their learning experience.
WHAT IS THE LOS GATOS EDUCATION FOUNDATION?
The LGEF is a parent-led non-profit organization that, for the past 41 years, has been raising critical funds to support quality education at the five public schools of the Los Gatos School District: Louis Van Meter, Daves, Blossom Hill, Lexington and RJ Fisher. For the 2023-2024 school year, the LGEF has granted $1,519,000 to the school district to allow the district to fund counselors, teachers, and school specialists for art, music, PE, library, STEAM, Spanish language teachers, plus additional counseling and elective teachers for Middle School students. Since 1982, the LGEF has provided over $20 million to the LGUSD from parent and community contributions. More information on LGEF is available at www.lgef.org.
HOW DOES THIS CHANGE HOW MY H&SC IS RUN OR WHAT IT FUNDS?
It doesn't! One Community LG does not change how the H&SCs or the LGEF are run, what they fund, or their organization, leadership, or mission. The only change is how contributions are received throughout the year. Contributions are allocated to their respective schools and spent just like previous years. Each school and organization has its own personality and funding priorities. Those priorities will continue uninterrupted.
CAN I DONATE ONLY TO MY HOME & SCHOOL CLUB OR LGEF?
Please donate to One Community LG to cover the expenses all groups have to enrich your student’s education. If you desire to give extra to a particular organization, you can arrange it directly with that entity. The best time to do so is after the One Community LG Fall Fundraising Drive ends on October 18th.