Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Schools Foundation

We moved to Mercer Island from Los Altos, California a few years ago because we thought the similar demographics would mean that people have the same high standards for education.  It's true that Mercer Island schools are among the best in the state and many people move here just for the quality of the public education.  But in spite of virtually identical demographics, people in Mercer Island have a long way to go to match the much higher emphasis on quality schools they have in Los Altos.

I happened to visit our old school district yesterday.  This picture says it all.

  Mercer Island Los Altos
Students 4,102 4,299
# of people with jobs 17,080 14,979
Households with >$200K annual income 1,556 2,355
School Foundation annual donations $725 $1.7M

In Los Altos, the "recommended" donation to the Los Altos Educational Foundation is $600 per family.  You don't have to give, and of course some people are unable, but if you have the means, you'll feel guilty if you don't contribute at least that much.

Why do people on Mercer Island contribute so little to the Mercer Island Schools Foundation?  Is there a suggested donation?  Does anybody feel guilty for not giving?

2 comments:

Stella said...

Note that the $1.7M for LAEF is only a goal. Last year we got $1.55M.

Jim said...

That's huge...Richard...are you on the MI foundation board? If not, you should join...your experience and insights might help them achieve the results you saw in california.