FAQ’s

Why is private gift support needed?

While the school district receives the bulk of its funding from the State of California, current state revenues cover only basic classroom services and do not provide teachers and students with everything necessary to fund a well-rounded education.  Private philanthropic funding for all academic and enrichment programs must now augment or sometimes entirely fill in areas where public funding is either not available or inadequate.

The Foundation was founded because state funding was inadequate for important academic enrichment programs (particularly arts programs) and capital improvement programs at Lincoln High School.  [At that time, Lincoln was the San Jose Unified School District’s Arts Magnet School.]

The school’s annual academic and program support needs currently exceed the current annual level of the Foundation’s fundraising success. We urge Lincoln School families, alumni, and friends in the community to step forward to help support our mission – to provide a high quality educational experience accessible to all.

The Lincoln High School Foundation provides a mechanism for our community to become active partners with the school district, thereby helping to ensure that excellent and effective classroom-based teaching programs are maintained and developed to meet the changing needs of the community.

 Who supports the Foundation – and who benefits?

Our fundraising campaigns are expected to be of special interest to alumni, and families and friends whose children have benefited from their affiliation with Lincoln High School, including community members who have served as mentors to students, and those who have attended school concerts and programs.  The Foundation also seeks the support of a wide range of other potential investors.  These include companies, foundations, and organizations, as well as individuals who understand the vital role that Lincoln High School plays in educating young people and making our community a better place to live.  (For instance, a quality high school is also of benefit to property owners who live in the vicinity.)

All Lincoln High School students benefit from Foundation funding no matter their socio-economic status or area of curricular/extra-curricular focus or interest.

Student enrollment is:  approximately 1650 students in grades 9 – 12. Student Ethnic diversity: 1.0% American Indian, 5.5% Asian, 1.7% Filipino, 3.0% African American, 36.5% Caucasian, 51.4% Latino, 0.6% Pacific Islander.  Students’ home languages reflect ethnicity including English, Spanish, Vietnamese and others.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of students live in the Lincoln neighborhood boundary – the Rose Garden neighborhood of San Jose – with 44% of students coming from neighborhoods scattered throughout the district.  Three percent of stuents are inter-district, from outside of San Jose Unified School District, transfers.

 In any given year there are over 200 students who are on the wait list for admission to Lincoln High School.  This is a testament to the high regard for the educational experience afforded students.

Nearly 32% of Lincoln High School students qualify for free/reduced lunches and/or who have parents who did not complete high school. Approximately 8 percent of all students qualify for special education services.  Approximately 32 percent of students each year enroll in Gifted and Talented grade level classes.

How does the Foundation identify programs it will support?

The Board and its Executive Committee seek suggestions from the school administration, faculty, parents, students, and other interested parties for new project funding initiatives. Funding criteria are established from time to time to keep pace with Lincoln’s changing needs.  Programs are evaluated in the context of the Foundation’s mission, an annual process that prioritizes which projects will be included in the annual campaign in any given year.  This includes smaller projects accomplishable within a one-year time horizon and larger capital projects that may require multi-year funding.

Following information gathering, review, and deliberation, program recommendations are forwarded to the Executive Committee for consideration.  The Executive Committee then makes its recommendation to the Board for consideration and action.

 How are funded programs evaluated and measured for effectiveness?

The Foundation’s Executive Committee annually gathers and evaluates programs that are under consideration for funding, or that have received funding from the Foundation.  The Executive Committee assesses the effectiveness of Foundation funding and reports to the full Board, and school administration on its findings including recommendations for increasing effectiveness, if necessary.

 How Is the Foundation different from the school’s booster clubs? 

All of us should be concerned about every aspect of the education that children receive, not just resources offered in one course or activity.  As a supporter of the Foundation, you are helping to assure that all academic and enhancement programs at the school, not just one classroom or a small group of students, achieve and maintain a standard of excellence.

If you wish to contribute to your child’s classroom in particular, the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) or a Booster Club can help you accomplish this goal.  We hope, too, that you will consider contributing the Foundation as well.

Why should a school booster club supporter contribute?  Why should I give to the Foundation?  After all, if I were to contribute I’d prefer giving directly to my child’s classroom or to a booster club.

The Foundation adopted a policy that the programs it funds should benefit all students at Lincoln, not just one classroom or a small group of students.  All of us should be concerned about every aspect of the education children receive, not just that offered in educational one course or activity.  When you give to the Foundation, you are assuring that all academic and enhancement programs at the school achieve and maintain a standard of excellence.

If you wish to contribute to your child’s classroom, in particular, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) or a Booster Club can help you accomplish this goal.  We hope, too, that you will consider contributing the Foundation as well.

Why should a Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) supporter contribute to the Foundation?

The Foundation provides support for significant school wide programs that enhance the educational experience for all students.  With these broad goals in mind, the Foundation recognizes that all students deserve a quality education.  We recognize and value the support of the PTSA and consider this group an important partner in addressing the needs of individual classrooms.  We urge you to consider augmenting your support of PTSA with a gift to the Foundation in order recognize that all students, in addition to our own child, need our help.

My tax dollars are supposed to support public schools.  Why was the Foundation formed anyway and why is private gift support needed?

The Foundation was founded because state funding was inadequate for important academic enrichment programs (particularly arts programs) and capital improvement programs at the school.  [At that time Lincoln was the San Jose Unified School District’s Arts Magnet School].  Private philanthropic funding for all academic and enrichment programs must now augment or entirely fill in where public funding is either not available or inadequate.

While the school district receives the bulk of its funding from the State of California, current state revenues now cover only basic classroom services such as teacher’s salaries, basic equipment, administrative operations and some support staff.

To whom does the Foundation compare itself?  Does San Jose Unified School District have a district-wide school foundation?

While there are other school foundations in the region, the Lincoln High School Foundation is one of the most successful particularly given the make-up of its student body.  This demonstrates the high esteem parents, alumni and the greater community have for the school. The Foundation is the oldest, independent foundation in San Jose Unified School District and, possibly, in the South Bay region.  A district-wide school foundation does exist; however, it has not been active since 2002.

Why is private gift support needed?

While the school district receives the bulk of its funding from the State of California, current state revenues cover only basic classroom services and do not provide teachers and students with everything necessary to fund a well-rounded education.  Private philanthropic funding for all academic and enrichment programs must now augment or sometimes entirely fill in areas where public funding is either not available or inadequate.

The Foundation was founded because state funding was inadequate for important academic enrichment programs (particularly arts programs) and capital improvement programs at Lincoln High School.  [At that time, Lincoln was the San Jose Unified School District’s Arts Magnet School.]

The school’s annual academic and program support needs currently exceed the current annual level of the Foundation’s fundraising success. We urge Lincoln School families, alumni, and friends in the community to step forward to help support our mission – to provide a high quality educational experience accessible to all.

The Lincoln High School Foundation provides a mechanism for our community to become active partners with the school district, thereby helping to ensure that excellent and effective classroom-based teaching programs are maintained and developed to meet the changing needs of the community.

If I contribute now will I be asked for my continued support in future years?

The Foundation conducts an ongoing, annual fund campaign to provide support for Lincoln School.  The annual fundraising goal in any given year reflects current program priorities and specific needs that would otherwise go unaddressed without private philanthropic support.  We encourage all donors, if possible, to consider adding the Foundation to their annual giving priorities.

What happens if the Foundation does not meet its annual fundraising goal?

Lincoln High School and the school district are stable financially and will be able to continue to provide basic, quality education for young people regardless of the outcome of the Foundation’s annual campaign efforts.  However, the academic and program enhancement needs of the school cannot be fully addressed and the benefits to the student body will be diminished if private support funding falls short of the goal.

Why should individuals who are not parents of current students contribute to the Foundation?

Lincoln High School Foundation’s many outstanding accomplishments include improving the educational level, and learning environment and academic and other program opportunities for young people.  Funded programs have provided a rare opportunity for the younger and older generations to come together through the arts, to enhance and improve our community as a whole.  Contributing to the Foundation helps us assure an educated community in which all lead productive lives.

If I contribute, how much of my gift will be used for administrative costs?

Operating costs for the Foundation currently represent 25 percent of the total raised annually. Thus, all other giving to the Foundation is used for program support.

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