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​​​Why do our public schools need financial support from our community?

The Menlo Park City School District (MPCSD) is community funded which means that state and federal government funding makes up only 11.9% of our budget.

Why are we community funded?
We are community funded due to California's unique tax laws.  This is primarily driven by the 1978 passing of Proposition 13, which decimated funding in California schools by reducing property taxes by nearly 60%.
(1)  Virtually overnight, class sizes ballooned and critical programs and staff were cut across the board - California now ranks 46th in funding per student (adjust for cost per living).(2)  To compound this lack of funding, unlike other similar cities to Menlo Park, only 18% of our local property taxes go to our schools, leaving a sizable gap.

Therefore, parents in our community created the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF) and school PTOs to restore the quality in our local schools.

What is a PTO?
PTO stands for Parent Teacher Organization. Each school in the Menlo Park City School District has its own PTO. PTOs are volunteer organizations where parents and teachers at a school come together to work on programs that benefit the educational experience of the children at that particular school. We welcome all parents and incorporate new ideas each year. Our programs are open and adaptable according to the needs of the school. 

What is the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation?
MPAEF is a parent-led non-profit organization that, for the past 36 years, has been raising critical funds to support quality education at the four public schools of the Menlo Park City School District:  Encinal, Laurel, Oak Knoll, and Hillview.  Last year, the MPAEF gave a check to the school district for $3.7 million to allow the district to fund 37 teachers and school specialists for art, science, music, counseling, and library programs across the district.

Why should I give money to the both PTOs and the MPAEF?
Both organizations help fund our schools in very different ways.

The MPAEF allows the district to fund critical programs at Encinal, Laurel, Oak Knoll and Hillview, including:

  • 28 teachers in art, science, music, and library
  • A 15% reduction in class size (compared to CA average)
  • 47 electives at Hillview
  • Cutting-edge STEM programs in the classroom
  • A mental health safety net including dedicated psychologists and counselors at every school

The PTO funds many important programs at each school including:

  • Curriculum enhancement such as the STEAM (Science) Fair, art supplies/instruction, DC Trip and Musicals
  • Culturally enriching programs including Poetry in Motion, assemblies, and field trips
  • Family events such as the family picnics and Luau

The MPAEF and the PTOs are the only organizations that can provide private funding directly to our District and to our schools.

Can I make one payment to the PTOs and MPAEF together?
Because each organization is a separate nonprofit with a unique tax ID number, contributions must be made to your child's PTO and the MPAEF independantly.

Are my contributions tax-deductible?
Yes!  Your donations to the MPAEF and your school’s PTO are tax-deductible because they are all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Please refer to each organization’s individual tax ID numbers below:

  • Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation:  #94-2871701
  • Encinal PTO:  #20-1194660
  • Hillview PTO:  #20-1194928
  • Laurel PTO:  #20-1194687
  • Oak Knoll PTO:  #20-1192341

Will my employer match my contribution?
Many employers will match your contributions to non-profit organizations, doubling the impact of your contribution.  Once you have donated,
CLICK HERE to find out how to submit your corporate match.

Have any questions?   Contact us at:

​(650) 325-0100

Step 2: 

Make your 2 donations today.  One to MPAEF, and the other to your school's PTO.
Campaign ends October 5th.  

Why Support Our Schools?