SCUSD Board to Consider Innovative Fund-Raising Initiatives

Press release

At Thursday’s meeting, SCUSD’s Board of Education will consider reconstituting its nonprofit, 501(c)(3) foundation to make it more effective at raising funds for schools.

In addition, trustees will discuss a pilot program for donations that would be used to reduce classroom sizes, retain current teachers and recruit new teachers.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Serna Center, 5735 47th Ave.

“Tough fiscal times call on us to explore every possible avenue for increasing revenue,” said Superintendent Jonathan Raymond, who will present reports on both plans at Thursday’s meeting. “The state’s underfunding of public education requires districts to be more innovative and resourceful than ever before.”

The district’s 501(c)(3), which is registered with the Internal Revenue Service, was originally called Children’s Health Education and Support Services, or CHESS. The purpose of the foundation, as stated in its articles of incorporation, was the “delivery of health education and support services for children and their families.”

Over time, the foundation named was changed to Focus on Assets & Children’s Educational Success, or FACES. Trustees on Thursday will consider amendments to the bylaws that broaden the group’s purpose and a possible name change to “Kids First for Sacramento City Unified School District,” which is aligned with the district’s Strategic Plan 2010-2014: Putting Children First.

At Thursday’s meeting, trustees will also consider a pilot donation program developed by a citizen’s group working with former Board Member Roy Grimes. The group, representing Sacramento’s business community, brought the idea for a donation program that would support small class sizes to the Board last spring. Grimes worked with the group on a plan that would allow 60 percent of funds raised in a trustee area to be retained for use by schools in that district.

The 2011-12 budget year is shaping up to be especially challenging for schools, as Governor Brown has proposed a budget that hinges on voter approval of tax extensions in June. Even if voters pass tax
extensions in a special election, it is projected that more cuts will be needed to balance SCUSD’s budget for next year, due to the lingering recession and enrollment declines in some areas.

“As I’ve said many times, schools cannot accomplish everything without help and partners,” Raymond said. “These plans will help our community help us as we help them.”