Frequently Asked Questions
What is WCEF TK-12?
- The Walnut Creek Education Foundation (WCEF) is a non-profit organization and a fundraising arm of the school districts it serves. WCEF’s mission is to preserve and enhance education for all TK-12 students in the Walnut Creek School District (WCSD) and at Las Lomas High School (LLHS)
- WCEF’s volunteer board consists of an executive committee, board chairs, appointed board members, trustees and advisory members. WCEF is also supported by two paid positions: the Executive Director and Donor Relations Manager.
Is my donation tax deductible? And what is wcef's tax id?
- The Walnut Creek Education Foundation is a California non-profit, public benefit, corporation. It is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The federal tax ID number for the foundation (EIN) is #94-2915151. All donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.
why do we need an education foundation in walnut creek? don't my property taxes cover the cost of education?
- These are great questions. Education Foundations exist in CA (and across the country) to allow families to further invest in public education, and because residents want more than what state funding covers. Now, state funding in CA has changed drastically since the 1970s, when our schools were some of the most well-funded in the country. A series of voter decisions in the 1970s and 80s (Props 13 and 89), the recession of 2008, all contributed to push funding to the very worst in the country by 2011. We now sit at 41st worst in per pupil funding, but some studies rate CA as low as 45th and lower.
- Looking for a more in-depth explanation? We found this article extremely helpful in understanding the history of school funding. https://ed100.org/lessons/whopays
- On to property taxes. Property taxes are not the main source of funding for CA schools, despite what people think. About 25% of the funding for public schools in CA comes from property taxes, which also support other local government functions. The biggest source is personal income taxes, especially on the state's wealthiest taxpayers. Communities in CA also have very limited options for raising local revenue for schools. Other states differ in this way.
- The amount per pupil our districts gets is mostly driven by the rules of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). For all our visual learners out there, this video offers a good look at LCFF. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su3wIGyZSl4&t=2s
- Other funding sources: The Lottery. Not so much. The Lottery raises about 1% of the state's education funds. CA voters created the lottery in 1984. It was promoted as a pain-free answer to the state’s education funding woes. So...that didn't really work. Finally, the federal government provides less than 10% of funding in most states, including CA.
- It's not a pretty picture (even though our students create pretty pictures thanks to WCEF donors), we know. What can you do as a taxpayer? 1. Donate to WCEF to ensure well-funded schools. 2. Lobby your local representatives. 3. Join movements looking to improve funding like Full & Fair Funding at http://www.fullandfairfunding.org/, your school's parent group (PTA, PTO), or volunteer for WCEF.
How will WCEF spend this money this school year?
WCEF funds preserve and enhance education from TK-12.
- In all WCSD elementary schools (including Tice Creek) WCEF funds go towards salaries for K-8 Math Coach and specialists in Art, Music, Science Lab, and a credentialed Physical Education teacher.
- Our intermediate level students (WCI and Tice) benefit from WCEF-funded programs with a STEAM focus (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), after school academic support, the Math Coach and technology.
- At Las Lomas High School, WCEF donations help fund 12 additional core academic classes, and support programs at the Wellness Center.
How is funding determined?
- Funding needed to preserve or enhance basic curriculum is identified and prioritized as a collaborative process between WCEF, the Walnut Creek School District, Acalanes Union High School District and school administrators. Funding decisions are based on each district’s budgetary needs and made on an annual basis for the following school year.
Does my WCEF donation go to my student’s school?
- Yes! WCEF funds are provided to the districts we serve, where the programs are funded on a per student basis. The result is an equitable distribution of funds that elevate all eight of our schools.
WHY DOES WCEF PRINT A LIST OF DONORS’ NAMES? CAN I GIVE ANONYMOUSLY?
- Every donor makes a difference, and each gift deserves to be acknowledged. Many people new to the District, or to WCEF, give because they are prompted not by us, but by you. Seeing your name on a public acknowledgement tells people who know and respect you that you have lent your support to our efforts. That usually means more than all the emails we can send.
- You can give anonymously to WCEF by noting it on your donation form or checking the box on the online form. We will honor your request and your name will not be published in our donor acknowledgements.
Do I get a per family discount?
- No. This year, WCEF’s annual ask is $600 per student. If this is not manageable for your family’s budget, please consider making installment payments by donating online. Alternatively, please donate in an amount that is comfortable for your family’s budget.
What is your annual ask?
- The annual ask for the 2018-19 school year is $600 per student.
- The $600 per student ask is a WCEF board-approved amount. The WCEF board is comprised of parent and community volunteers representing all schools.
- If this is not manageable for your family’s budget, please consider making installment payments by donating online. Alternatively, please donate in an amount that is comfortable for your family’s budget.
I can’t afford $600 per student this year. What can I do to help?
- If you want to help but can’t donate $600 per student, you are encouraged to donate an amount that works with your family’s budget. WCEF wants 100% participation from its families; any amount is helpful to reaching our fundraising goal.
- If you can’t contribute financially, please consider volunteering. Email us regarding volunteer opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you prefer cash credit card or check?
- We prefer that your family select the most comfortable way of donating to our organization. WCEF accepts gifts of cash, check, credit and stock. New this year, WCEF accepts VENMO @WalnutCreekEducationFoundation.
Didn’t I already donate to WCEF when I donated to my school’s PARENT GROUP (PTA/PTO/PTSA)?
- No. The foundation is a separate check from school site specific organizations because it is its own foundation and touches eight separate schools. The parent group donation is made separate from your WCEF donation.
- WCEF funds salaries and innovative classroom programs and technologies. Your school's parent group typically pays for supplies and hosts culture building opportunities.
- If your family is able to, we ask that you donate to both WCEF and your Parent Group. WCEF and the Parent Groups of each school work together to ensure quality education for your students. WCEF and the Parent Groups are critical to bridge the state funding gap. We call this collaborative fundraising, and it ensures that both academics and community are fully funded at your student’s school.
How can I make my donation go further through corporate matching?
- Many companies match charitable donations from their employees, which can double, or even triple the amount that WCEF receives as a result of your donation. To find out whether your company offers a corporate matching gift program, search this database or check with your company’s Human Resources department. If you have questions about how to make a matching donation to WCEF, contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE MONEY RAISED GOES TO THE SCHOOLS AND WHAT PERCENT COVERS ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS?
- Administrative expenses for WCEF are low because volunteers do the majority of work. Current administrative costs around 10-12% of the total budgeted foundation funds. The remaining goes directly to the schools we serve. To view our financial information, click here.