District and Foundation(s) - One in the Same
At School Board Meetings parents have repeatedly inquired about the relationship between the Foundations and the District.
During the March 9, 2017 School Board Meeting, Mr. Dill gave a brief update to emphasize how the foundations and district operate separately. (from Board Agenda Packet 04-06-17 pg. 15 of 264)
Mr. Dill was responding to a public comment by parent Wendy Gumb. See Presentation There have also been multiple press articles written questioning the endless fundraising requests as well as the funding priorities and donation practices in our district.
On May 25, 2017, the foundations of Canyon Crest Academy, La Costa Canyon High School, and San Dieguito Academy wrote an "Open Letter" to the San Diego Union Tribune in response to criticism in the press about how so many of our district's school programs are not sufficiently funded. The executive directors stated in the letter that our district is the lowest paid district in the state by millions of dollars. See letter
However, during email discussions between the foundations and Mr. Dill before the release of the letter, Mr. Dill reviewed the letter and offered his insights. One of his insights was that, "The state board of education and the governor would argue that the formula is equitable because we will all receive the same base amount per student...."
Yes, other districts may be paid "supplemental" funds, but that is because they get the supplemental funds to provide supplemental supports to the students who qualify as EL, low income, foster or homeless (e.g. free lunches, extra tutoring, etc.). These supplemental funds are supposed to be used to increase those students' outcomes because they historically are performing far below state averages for other students.
The LCFF model does not shift any dollar burden to parents. It simply provides the same base funding per student to the schools as Mr. Dill stated and which he noted was the position of the State Board of Education and the governor. Below is an excerpt from the foundation letter acknowledging the equal base funding per student. (See p. 3 of "Open Letter Letter").
We fortunately do not have that many students in our district who need this supplemental support. However, our district does get supplemental funding of around $2 million for the students in the district who do qualify as EL, low income, foster or homeless youth and require more educational support. Let's hope that money is going to them.
And Escondido? Yes, Escondido UHSD, one of the districts highlighted and compared with our district in the foundation letter, does get more supplemental funding money. As it has a much higher number of students in need of supplemental support and instruction.
The position of the foundations that our district is sorely underfunded is incorrectly based upon a comparison of the bottom lines only, not on the reasons why the districts get additional funding or how they must use that funding. Again, to quote the language set forth in Mr. Dill's email, our district gets the same base amount per student.
Our district is in an affluent community. The foundation's funding requests are not driven because our district does not get enough funding under the LCFF formula. Our foundations need more funding because our district has essentially delegated funding of educational items to the foundations.
But back to how this "Open Letter" was created in the first place. Chapter 21of the ASB Manual issued by FCMAT states, "Although booster auxiliary organizations are not governed by the Education Code, they do not have free access to schools and students". If our district and foundations are two wholly separate entities and do not have free access, why was Mr. Dill helping the foundations write a letter to the press to defend their fundraising requests?
Please see e-mail correspondence between May 2017 - June 2017 obtained through a Public Records request -- You be the judge if these look like separate entities.
On June 6, 2017 a letter was written to the SDUHSD Board Re: Agents of the SDUHSD? See letter
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