• Judy Sin

What makes public education great in Lamorinda?

Updated: Sep 22

When considering possible locations for a move with your young family, understanding the local education system is often a major or deciding factor. For those considering moving into the Lamorinda Area of California, their public schools offer some of the best and most comprehensive student experiences in California. One thing to understand about the California Education system is that its per-student funding levels are among the lowest in the United States. To supplement the inadequate funding from the state, many public institutions support student learning through educational foundations. There are several educational foundations in the local area support student learning in a big way.


Educational Foundations within the Lamorinda Area


Moraga Education Foundation

Local parents founded this group in 1981. With the mission to ensure that public schools have the resources needed to deliver high-quality education to local youth, the foundation is donating almost a million dollars to the Moraga school district. This money is intended to ensure that class sizes can be smaller and more advanced, supporting student wellness and creating grants for course materials, technology, and professional development for school employees.

The Moraga Education Foundation is run by an executive director and has more than 100 volunteer positions for community members to get involved. Parents looking to get involved can contact the executive director here: mef@moraga.k12.ca.us.


Lafayette Partners in Education

Helping Lafayette school district, this foundation is to support and enrich every child's education. It was created to ensure that k-12 received sufficient funding to provide their students with an engaging and well-rounded education. More than 22% of the school's budget comes from Lafayette Partners in Education. The priorities that this organization funds are:

  • Small class sizes

  • Music Instruction

  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion

  • Counselling & Wellness

  • Art Instruction

  • Electives- 15 elective courses are funded at Acalanes school

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

  • Classroom Funds and Supplies


Orinda Network Education

ONE (formed from the Parents' Clubs of all six Orinda public schools) will strengthen, streamline and amplify collective fundraising efforts, sustaining the signature programs and instrumental staff that make Orinda schools exceptional. It will ensure equity and consistency across schools and build a legacy for future students. ONE will support and enhance the educational TK - 12 experience of every student in the Orinda public schools.


For the Students


Often, parents are intimidated or unsure why they should send their students to schools with large educational foundations. It has long been believed that local property taxes funded public education institutions. However, due to the passing of proposition 13 in 1978, the revenue funneled to schools from those taxes fell drastically. With the supplement of Educational Foundations and Organizations like the ones listed here, parents and communities can ensure that their local children receive high-quality educational experiences. The money provided to our area high schools by some of these foundations has completely transformed the quality and type of education received.


These additional funds help to ensure programs are put into place that supports the whole person development of students, not just their academic progress. Our local foundations have expressed a dedication to student health and wellness and a commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. At Acalanes, funds have gone directly towards developing inclusive classroom libraries, Ethnic studies course sections, and developing and enhancing parent education.


In addition to whole student development, these organizations are dedicated to ensuring that students receive an abundance of extracurricular activities. Local educational foundations funded activities include music programs, DEI organizations, additional librarians, robotics programs, and more. Students attending well-funded schools can experience intra and extracurricular enrichment that enhances their education.


Parent Involvement


At the core of local educational foundations is parent involvement. Parents are welcome to engage in leadership positions or volunteer. The voice of parents helps guide foundations towards a brighter future and ensure student needs are met.

Are parents required to donate?


Many parents worry about meeting the suggested donation for their school foundation. While these foundations survive on donations, every family's financial family is different. Any contribution that is meaningful to the foundation is significant. Foundations partner with local businesses and seek additional donations to ensure they meet their financial goals.


The complexities of these educational foundations and how they interact with public funds can be confusing. What is confusing is how these funds ensure that students attending school in the Lamorinda area get a top-tier education. Class sizes are smaller, so students receive individualized attention, electives and extra curricular are abundant. The education system in this area can not be beaten for families looking to relocate.


Conclusion


Considering moving to Lamorinda? The Lamorinda area, which is East of Berkeley Hills and between Walnut Creek and Caldecott Tunnel, includes the cities of Lafayette, Moraga, and Orinda, CA. These suburbs are all about half an hour by car from the more lively city of San Francisco, so they are close enough that you can still pop back for work or spend a more upbeat evening with your friends in the city, yet you can enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of these less populated cities. Get in touch if you are considering relocating to these areas and want to have a local realtor help you with the buying process along the way. I’d be happy to assist your search for your dream family home!