SchoolCARE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, committed to the development of long-term funding support for quality education in Albany Unified School District. California is letting our students down by shifting significant costs to our school districts. This makes it challenging for our district to meet the needs of the whole child -- including the health and wellness and the academic success of each child in each Albany school. SchoolCARE funding helps to fill the gap between what we get from the state and what our children need. Our mission objectives are:
- To assist in restoring staff and mitigating state budget cuts. To fill the gap between immediate fiscal needs and long-term solutions, so that children don't lose valued programs.
- To actively pursue a wide range of funding sources that effectively meet this community's long-term needs, including grants, individual and business donations, Amazon Smile, and special events.
- To draw representation from all sites and to work cooperatively with other groups that support excellence, including the District, the PTAs, and school site councils.
Who are we?
We are you. We are community volunteers. We’re parents, teachers, and residents who care about the educational opportunities available to Albany’s children. We’re working in cooperation with the Albany Music Fund, Albany Education Foundation, the various school site councils and PTAs, athletic boosters, school administrators, and anyone who cares about preserving our quality schools.
How is the money raised?
We raise money primarily through individual, family and business donations. Some people donate via credit card or check on a monthly basis; others make one or two larger contributions. Secure online donation is available directly on our website; contributions can be mailed to our local address and dropped off in any school office. To allow school principals and departments to plan their courses and schedules for the following school year, we must raise money before summer break so that teaching positions and programs can be included in the District’s fall budget. Therefore, the major fundraising activity takes place in the spring, with a citywide brochure drop and phonathon to school families. Each year our message is simple: The more money we raise, the more positions we can restore.
How are needs identified?
The money is spent on site-determined needs. Throughout the school year, SchoolCARE works at each school site to involve all stakeholders – parents, teachers, students, administrators – to examine the needs and priorities of each site, identify potential funding sources, and find ways to maximize available resources to meet as many of those needs as possible. Each spring the schools provide SchoolCARE with a wish list, and fundraising continues through the early summer in order to fund as many of those items as possible. We allocate funds equitably among all the schools.
How are SchoolCARE funds allocated?
SchoolCARE operates on a principal of equity for all schools. The level of funding support for elementary, middle, and high school generally reflects the percentage share of the student population at those levels. SchoolCARE does not directly allocate funds to sites or give grants. SchoolCARE works with the schools to identify their needs and priorities and then pledges to the District to pay for those specific items, so we know exactly what our community dollars are paying for. SchoolCARE allocates all available resources to fund positions and programs from the schools’ site-created wish lists. We work with the schools to look at additional funding sources, to maximize revenue to cover the greatest number of priorities possible. For example, PTAs and SchoolCARE might combine funds to address enrichment during the school day.
How much should I contribute through SchoolCARE?
SchoolCARE asks every Albany family to consider an annual donation of $500 per child enrolled in Albany schools. While we understand that not all families can afford that level of support – although many do so by contributing $42 per month via credit card – it is important to recognize the level of contribution that is necessary to preserve quality education in Albany. SchoolCARE is in the unique position to focus funding on people; such as teachers, counselors, librarians and aides, who work with students during the regular school day. For perspective, consider that it takes almost $15,000 – that’s 30 contributions of $500, to pay for a part-time library technician at our elementary schools; or to pay for one elective class at the high school or middle school.
SchoolCARE Board of Directors 2020-21
Marin Van Young