Who may submit a grant?
Typically, grant applications are submitted by teachers of the District, but any parent, student or community member may submit an application.
Who decides what projects will be funded?
Each grant application is reviewed by the Grant Review Committee of the Foundation Board and is assessed using specific criteria. The Grant Review Committee – sometimes including parents, teachers, a representative of the Superintendent and a representative from the Board of Education – reviews all applications and recommends grants to the Foundation Board of Directors. Grants approved by the Foundation Board are submitted to the Superintendent who refers them to the Board of Education for consideration and approval.
Are there restrictions on what the Foundation is allowed to pay for?
Yes. The Foundation may not pay directly for operating costs of the District, including faculty salaries. Funded grants are gifts to the District, which must be formally accepted by the Board of Education.
Are donations to the Foundation tax-deductible?
Yes. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, and donations made aree tax-deductible as permitted by law.
Can I donate money for a specific project?
Yes. Please refer to Current Projects.
Will the Foundation accept money from my company’s matching gift program? Will the Foundation accept gifts of securities?
Yes. Please indicate on the Donate form that your company will match your gift or that you wish to make a gift of securities.
Why contribute to the Foundation, especially in a high tax district?
The school tax paid by residents of the Bedford Central School District funds the operating school budget as approved by voters each spring. The Foundation grants pay for programs and equipment that are NOT covered by the school budget. These grants enable teachers and administrators to enhance the curriculum by providing exciting learning opportunities for students in the district.
The Foundation was founded to encourage and reward innovation in teaching. By encouraging teachers and administrators to develop new programs and creative approaches to teaching and learning, and to incorporate new equipment and materials in classrooms and beyond, we provide incentives for teachers to stay on the cutting edge of their field and to stay motivated and excited about teaching in our district. The Foundation provides a vehicle for parents and the community who want to make our public schools the best they can possibly be, to give teachers and students the opportunity to create a truly outstanding public school system. The vast majority of our district’s budget goes toward fixed expenses such as salaries, building cots, pensions and insurance. A small percentage of our district’s budget represents discretionary costs. With that context, the Foundation’s supplemental funds can have an important impact, and in the face of rising costs and decreasing state and federal aid, help ensure that our schools continue to be leaders in classroom and experiential learning.
Whether you are a parent of a student or a resident without children in the district school system, the continued excellence of our schools is critical to ensuring an educated citizenry and to preserving the value of our property and life in our community.
How is the Foundation different from the PTA’s?
The Foundation works across all schools with the support and involvement of the district superintendent, lead administrators, department heads and school board. The Foundation generally funds larger initiatives specifically related to curriculum and provides seed funds to pioneer new programs, use of technology or approaches to teaching rather than funding ongoing expenses. The Foundation considers requests for funding with a view to the needs of the school district as a whole and particularly welcomes multi-school- across teaching silo- grant applications. The Foundation often funds grants in areas that are beyond the scope or purview of the school PTS’s and does not compete with the PTS’s but complements and supplements the work they are doing within each school. The Foundation is also a separate entity from any other funding source for our school district.
How Are Board Members Chosen and who are they?
All board members are volunteers who express interest and enthusiasm for joining in the work of the Foundation and who commit to being actively involved with the organization in some capacity. Interested faculty and administration members may also be Board members even those who are retired from the district. The Board generally meets once a month at a Board member’s home.
Do Most Public School Districts in Westchester have a School Foundation?
Many do. Districts ranging from Bronxville, one of the oldest to Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, Armonk and Eastchester have found it worthwhile to raise private funds and enhance education in their communities. Across the country, there is a growing emphasis on private and corporate giving for public schools. A strong schools foundation is considered an important sign of a community’s commitment to education and is often noted by realtors and others in descriptions of community resources and assets.