Donations to MBEF’s Annual Appeal are used to make grants to the District to pay for programs and educators at our seven schools. The grants, totaling over $5 million annually, amount to approximately 10 percent of the school district’s budget. Most of this funding is already committed to teachers and programs from the previous year. However as some programs close or shrink in size or if we are able to increase funds raised, we may have a little bit of additional funding through which we can consider implementing innovative new programs that align with parent and educators’ priorities.
The grant making process begins well over a year before the approved programs will touch our students, and therefore requires careful thought and planning. The process begins during the summer when students, parents and teachers respond to the MBEF survey, indicating their priorities and preferences relating to educational programming at our schools. The MBEF Grants Committee, comprised of 7 MBEF Board Members representing all 7 sites, review the survey results and meet with all school principals and some teachers for additional feedback. The Grants Committee and district administrators then collaborate together to ensure that the proposed grants align with the District’s needs and priorities, and maintain a K-12 perspective. Once finalized, the proposed grants go before the MBUSD School Board for final approval in April, and preparations are made for their implementation in the Fall.
MBEF’s Board of Directors is comprised of 28 parents (7 of whom are PTA Presidents and represent all schools) and community members who are committed to being exemplary stewards of the resources we manage. We strive to be objective in our decision making while at the same time facilitating collaborative ventures whereby parents, the school district administration, PTAs, booster clubs, teachers, students, local businesses, and other members of the extended community invest in a partnership to make MBUSD schools an example of best practices in public education. We also recognize that it is our role, as stewards of our donor’s dollars, to hold the school district accountable for fulfilling the goals and expectations of the grants we fund. We take this role very seriously and we are very proud of what our community, through MBEF has accomplished.
In addition to the historical grants we have come to depend on, like music, physical education, librarians, counselors and more, look for some exciting new opportunities in STEM/STEAM and character development in the coming school year.