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Community Letter

September 7, 2018

Thanks to everyone for their support during the challenges of the 2017-18 school year! As you have no doubt heard, hard work was rewarded and, working with the Mountain View Elementary Administration, the Foundation, in May, has been able to commit to supporting two full time, certified teachers for the 2018-19 school year! Over the summer, mid-July, MVES received an additional certified allocation. MVES administration chose to place this allotment as a STEM Lab Instructor. This is the first time in over 7 years this has happened.  Now we are turning our attention to raising funds to continue that support for the next school year.

 

To help the community better understand this process, we wanted to provide a brief overview of how teacher allocations are set. As a first step, the “QBE” (Quality Balanced Education) program determines how much State support Cobb County will receive. This is a critical step, and one that is dramatically impacting Cobb’s ability to provide teachers to our schools. QBE allocations were set in the mid-1980s and have not been readjusted to account for urban sprawl. Accordingly, Cobb County – a well established tax base in the mid-1980s – is paying millions in taxes that are being redistributed to other counties, many of which now have well developed tax bases of their own, but no desire to lose QBE funds. Although the Foundation itself is not a political organization (and political action would be outside our charter), we encourage anyone with an interest in this process to understand the QBE and to reach out to state and local politicians to urge that QBE be revised.

 

After the State provides QBE numbers to Cobb County, Cobb then divides that money among schools based on predicted enrollment for the next year.  Set formulas determine the number of allocations for each school, and individual schools are informed what their expected enrollment and allocations will be for the coming year. This typically happens in the late spring but may even stretch into summer. At that time, the work at each school starts. In some cases, if the allocation seems correct, the school administration apportions allocations among classrooms. If the school disagrees with the County’s predicted enrollment numbers, it may review enrollment information with the County, and the process continues.

 

It is important to understand that teacher allocations may be adjusted up until “Count Days” for actual enrollment – which does not occur until about a month after school starts. Accordingly, allocations may be adjusted and new teachers hired or moved even after school begins.

 

With this uncertainty in mind, the Foundation’s goal is to raise $135,000 which is what we believe – based on the best available data – will be needed for two full time certified teachers in the 2019-20 school year. This will be funded through Foundation Memberships, breakfast sales, Clubs, matching donations from companies, generous donations from the community, and a single fund-raising activity – the Boosterthon Fun Run!

 

The Boosterthon Fun Run is a two-week program that kicks off with a Pep Rally on 9/11/2018. Families gather pledges for every lap your student runs, up to a maximum of 35 laps, and we will celebrate at the Fun Run on 9/20/2018. Students will also experience an amazing character theme, MINDSPARK MYSTERY LAB! This exciting theme combines S.T.E.A.M skills with character-building. While they're teaming up with the MindSpark Kids to solve mysteries, our students will learn five 21st-century character traits that will help strengthen themselves and our world.

 

The Boosterthon replaces Mad Dash, and we hope that, in combination with expected revenues from Clubs, the event will raise more than enough to fund the 2019-20 teachers’ salaries. We are so optimistic that we have committed to splitting any funds raised above this threshold minimum with the PTA.

 

Please support Boosterthon – it will be the single fundraiser from Foundation and through your efforts, you can secure teachers’ salaries early and help the PTA as well.   

 

Sincerely,

 

Mountain View Foundation

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