FAQs for New Families to Burlingame School District

Welcome to Burlingame School District! Our school performance ranks among the top 10 percent in the state. Since 1981, our school district’s education foundation, Burlingame Community for Education Foundation (BCE), has been a critical part of that ongoing success. Today, BCE is the primary fundraising tool that Burlingame parents can leverage to make a measurable impact on their child’s public school experience.


The 2016-2017 BCE Board of Directors.

What is BCE?

BCE is a volunteer­-driven fundraising organization. Our mission is to help Burlingame School District sustain and enhance an exceptional public education for all TK­-8th grade students in our schools. Working together with parents, the district, and community, we provide BSD with financial resources to create a rich and inspiring education for our children beyond what is possible with public funds. BCE is a 501(c)(3) non­profit public benefit corporation so your donation is tax­-deductible.

Wait, why do public schools need private money?

California ranks 46th in the nation for per pupil spending on education. Even with the passage of recent legislation like Proposition 30, the Governor’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), local parcel taxes and bond measures, California is not currently funding public education at an acceptable level for Burlingame students. We believe our children deserve more. Our collective BCE donations provide flexible resources for our school district so they can do more for our children.

What does BCE do with the money it raises?

Thanks to our generous donors and volunteers, BCE granted $1,900,000 to BSD this academic year. Our grant is essential to augmenting public funds and delivering a high ­quality education to your child and more than 3,300 students across seven schools. BCE’s 2016-17 grant helps fund:

  • Science and math specialists and resources
  • TK-8 library and media services
  • Integrated technology specialist
  • Credentialed physical education program
  • Visual and performing arts
  • TK-8 choral and instrumental music program
  • Highly trained lunchtime supervision
  • Teacher professional development

What is the difference between BCE and my school’s Parent­ Teacher Association (PTA)?

BCE and PTA have different missions, and both organizations are important for your school to thrive. The primary focus of PTA is community building, while the primary focus of BCE is fundraising. Although the PTA may raise funds for its school’s site­-specific needs such as playground equipment and campus beautification, only BCE’s grant dollars can be used to fund accredited teacher salaries and educational programs. BCE’s grant to Burlingame School District ensures equitable programs and resources across all school sites, and maximum effectiveness of every dollar donated. A donation to BCE is a direct investment in all TK-­8th grade students.

How much should I give to BCE?

This is a personal decision for every family. Please join us and give what you can. Every gift at any amount is valued and appreciated. In helping you determine your contribution, you may want to consider data from the National Education Association, May 2016:

  • California spent $2,050 less per child than the national average
  • California spent $4,000 less per child than the state of Minnesota
  • California spent $6,300 less per child than the state of New York

We hope you’ll consider donating at our Scholars Circle level of $2,500 or greater.

Public funding is not enough to provide the kind of education our children deserve. Local parcel taxes and bond measures help significantly, but do not completely cover the need. Our foundation can. Remember that donations are tax­-deductible.

When should I give to BCE?

This year we are encouraging all donors to give in the fall to ensure that we can communicate our final grant early in the spring. In past years, many of our donations have come in very late, forcing us to make our grant commitments to BSD over the summer, well after the regular school district planning cycle that occurs in the spring. In cases where our grant supports staff, the timing of our grant means that BSD cannot effectively hire staff for the start of school.

Can I volunteer for BCE as a parent new to Burlingame?

Yes! One of the most important ways you can help BCE is by volunteering. This year we have more than 200 parent volunteers helping run the foundation and our events. We still need help in the following areas: school site support, administrative support, auction, IT, legal advisers, accounting, marketing, grant writers and events. We’ll find the right fit for your availability, interests and skills. Join our team and meet other parents from every school site who are making a meaningful impact on the entire district.

Think about it:

We have a strong public school district, but without a strong foundation, our schools do not have sufficient funds to provide the kind of education our children deserve. Help us ensure Burlingame children reach their potential by supporting BCE.

For more information about BCE at your school, please contact: