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Published August 23rd, 2017
LPIE is ramped up and ready for the new school year

Following a new fundraising high for the eighth straight year of over $3 million in the 2016-17 school year, Lafayette Partners in Education has committed to providing more than $3.3 million for the upcoming academic year, supporting students in all six Lafayette schools.
A big part of this impressive figure comes from donation matching. Executive Director Myrna Kimmelman said that last year donation matching raised over $275,000. Many companies are happy to match their employees' donations dollar-for-dollar and some even reward volunteer hours. Details of how to sign up are on the LPIE website (www.lpie.org).
Founded back in 1980 as the Lafayette Art and Science Foundation by a small group of parents concerned about cutbacks in the budget as a result of Proposition 13, the organization has now grown to 120 volunteers and 100 teachers.
LPIE helps support math, music, art and reading in all Lafayette schools. Last year, among the new programs, LPIE increased funding for math coaching at the elementary schools and for elective supplies at Stanley Middle School. At Acalanes High School, the program expanded funding for art, science, and music in special education classes, supported a teacher innovation program and provided supplies for a new architectural design elective.
For the next school year, with the increased budget, the program will add support to technology at Acalanes and funding for stress counselors, which is a cost shared with the Acalanes Parent Club. It will continue to support the health educator for the Lafayette School District.
With the increased budget comes an increased "ask" amount for parents this year. LPIE President Amy Parlett says that the new amount requested from families for each student is $1,000.
"The last seven years it had been $800 per student. The increased needs by the school districts (due to severely insufficient and unpredictable state funding) really has put pressure on the community to provide more locally in order to just maintain programs," said Parlett, who noted that although participation from families has dipped slightly in the last few years, the 63 percent participation rate last year is actually quite good for an education foundation. "However, we do hope to raise the percentage this year," she added.
"Our schools are hurting and need our help if we want to maintain the quality of education we are used to in Lafayette. Sadly our schools cannot depend on the state for adequate and consistent funding."
"We have the power to make a significant impact through LPIE whose funding impacts students every day in every classroom TK to 12," Parlett said. "Every donation counts."

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