Public schools are funded through a combination of property tax, state funding and a handful of other smaller sources. In simplest terms, the funds CUSD receives divided by the number of students it serves is lower than our local peers, lower than the state average in California and lower than the national average.
- Los Altos
School Districts receive their funding from a combination of sources.
In simplest terms, the funds CUSD receives divided by the number of students it serves is lower than our local peers, lower than the state average in California and lower than the national average.
Funding sources include:
- Local Property Tax Base – 69%
- State Funding – 11%
- Parcel Tax (expiring in June 2023) – 4.7%
- Federal Funding – 1.85%
- Other Funds – 12%
- Private Contributions – 2%
Your local property taxes support a wide variety of municipal functions, including public primary and secondary schools and community colleges.
Schools were once funded entirely by local property tax alone, but for several decades, local taxes in California have been governed by Proposition 13.
As a result, property tax supporting CUSD has lagged as a function of students served by the district.
CUSD serves Kindergarten through 8th grade students, and it is supported by about a quarter of your property tax payment.
LCFF or “Local Control Funding Formula”
Because our property taxes come up short, we rely on the state to fund CUSD up to the bare minimum required according to a complex formula called the “Local Control Funding Formula” or LCFF.
California’s state budget is large, complex, and on par with many whole nations. In any given year, the amount that can be allocated by California to education varies. As a result, CUSD’s allocation varies as well.
Parcel taxes make up a small portion of the CUSD revenue. As one of the few things controlled by voters in the school district, this
is one of the few things we can change with legislative action.
CUSD Parcel taxes are small increases to local property taxes earmarked for the school district. Parcel tax measures must be approved by voters in the district by a ⅔ (66.67%) margin in order to take effect. They vary in specifics about how the tax is computed, what is asked from each parcel owner and for how many years.
On May 6, 2014, voters of the Cupertino Union School District approved Measure A – The one and only parcel tax in effect today. Measure A taxes each parcel owner for $250 annually, which generates about $500 per student.
Measure A provides CUSD about $8m annually to:
Fund more than 80 teaching positions
Protect outstanding core academic programs in reading, writing, math and science
Keep schools safe, clean and well-maintained
Keep libraries up-to-date and retain music and art programs
Measure A is set to expire at the end of the school year in 2023.