DSEF FAQs

Education Foundation FAQs

What is the Dripping Springs Education Foundation (DSEF)?

Founded in 1992, the Dripping Springs Education Foundation raises private-sector funds to support academic excellence at every school in our district. Through our mission we strive to bridge the funding gap between the District’s state-allocated budget and the actual budget required to provide the high-performance education we have come to expect from DSISD.

The Foundation raises funds through the annual Bridge Builders Capital Campaign, Schoolhouse Scramble Golf Tournament and Denim & Diamonds Gala.   We rely exclusively upon financial contributions from DSISD families, friends and businesses to fulfill this mission. 

Why does the community have a Foundation?

At a time when the state is reducing support for our schools, our community is redoubling its efforts to maintain teacher positions and programs that are being cut in other districts.

The Texas State Constitution requires only an adequate education for our children.  In DSISD merely adequate is not acceptable – We strive for excellence within all our schools, but ongoing state budget cuts are putting our high-performance standards at risk.  DSEF will grant money to DSISD through the Capital Campaign Fund to Bridge the Gap, Innovative Teaching Grants and Student Leadership Grants.

In Dripping Springs, we believe that our children deserve more than the adequate education described by the State of Texas. 

 

Source:  Texas State Constitution

The state of Texas does NOT require at any level Nurses, Librarians, Counselors, or Campus Technology Coordinators. At the elementary level, Texas does not require Gifted and Talented teachers, specials teachers, Compact/Advanced Math, Advanced Language Arts, and has no size limit on 5th grade classes. At the middle school level, Texas does not require Gifted and Talented teachers, electives teachers, Advanced Math, Advanced Language Arts, class size limits, any sports program, foreign language, band, choir, orchestra, drama, journalism, technology. In high school, Texas does not require Gifted and Talented courses, electives teachers, any Advanced Placement course, any Pre-Advanced Placement course, class size limits, any sports program, advanced core subject electives such as Calculus, Statistics, Biology II, Chemistry II, any standard elective such as debate, journalism, creative writing, countless fine arts and technology electives, choice of foreign language electives and the choice to take a foreign language for more than three years.

What is the difference between the Foundation and the PTA?

The Foundation raises private-sector funds to support academic goals and achievement at every school in our district.  Specific application of the funds “granted” by the Foundation to DSISD is at the discretion of the District leadership.

The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) plays a key role in raising money for campus-specific enhancements, and providing parent volunteers in each of the district’s five schools to help teachers with an array of day-to-day classroom needs.

DSEF and the PTA work in tandem to provide complimentary resources that benefit each school in our district.

How is the Foundation managed?

The Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is managed by a volunteer board of directors from the community, representing a broad spectrum of talent from parents to business leaders and community-members at large.  As an independent 501(c)3 non-profit, the Foundation provides accountability to its donors for the dollars raised.

What does DSEF do to raise money?

DSEF raises private-sector funds to support academic goals and achievement at every school in our district.  The Foundation raises funds through the annual Bridge Builders Capital Campaign, Schoolhouse Scramble Golf Tournament and Denim & Diamonds Gala.

 

Funding is distributed annually through three DSEF grant programs.  Innovative Teacher Grants fund teacher generated ideas that do not have an obvious funding source through the District. Student Leadership Grants fund projects that are designed by students with the support of a mentor teacher. The DSISD Grant helps fund programs that prepare our children for the demands of a modern world, such as the District’s 21st Century Learning Initiatives.

How are donations to DSEF spent?

Funding is distributed annually through three DSEF grant programs.  Innovative Teacher Grants fund teacher generated ideas that do not have an obvious funding source through the District. Student Leadership Grants fund projects that are designed by students with the support of a mentor teacher. The DSISD Grant helps fund programs that prepare our children for the demands of a modern world, such as the District’s 21st Century Learning Initiatives.

The school district’s leadership, in consultation with DSEF, determines specifically how the funds are spent.

What does a DSISD education cost? How are the budget cuts affecting the quality of education in the District?

The facts are important!  The annual cost of a DS education per student is $7,653.

Average state funding per student/per year is $1,958 (2011/2012 AEIS Report).  The majority of funding for our schools comes from local tax revenue.  Our population is increasing year over year, while our state funding per student is not.

Projections indicate a pattern of continued enrollment increases.  

Private funds donated to the Foundation stay in the District for education.

How do bond revenues affect the school district budget? Are they subject to the Robin Hood mandate?

Bond revenues pay for infrastructure development, expansion and improvements, such as buildings and busses.  Bond revenues are NOT subject to the Robin Hood mandate.

 

By Texas state law, bond revenues cannot be used for district-wide operational expenses, including teachers.  For instance, the 2007 bond that passed appropriated $96.17 million to our District that was used for the conversion, expansion and renovation of both secondary campuses, as well as the purchase of land for future facilities.

Does the Foundation have an endowment?

To date, DSEF does not have an endowment.  A long-term goal of the Foundation is to establish an endowment to provide a predictable source of revenue for District academic needs, such as funding teacher positions. Donors interested in establishing an Endowment should contact DSEF Board President, John Doucet at  .

Is my gift tax deductible?

Yes!  Your gift to DSEF is 100% tax deductible.  The funds granted to the school district by the Foundation are exempt from the ‘Robin Hood’ tax provision.

Is my gift to the Foundation subject to “Robin Hood”?

No!  100% of the money you give to the DSEF stays in the District to be spent on education.  In fact, private-money raised through the Foundation actually helps to ease the burden that the recapture law or “Robin Hood” places on the District, because it is not subject to recapture by the state.

How much should I give?

Our challenge goal for 2013-14 is $200,00 — Every dollar donated counts!  Every Dripping Springs ISD campus receives funding from the money DSEF grants to the school district.

Why is my contribution important if I don’t have children in the District?

The Foundation is a bridge between our community and DSISD.  By supporting our public schools, DSEF makes a difference in the lives of district students and ads to the vitality of the community.  Your gift to DSEF will help fund the gap between the adequate education supported by state funding and the excellent education we have come to expect for our children.

As an independent 501(c)3 non-profit, the Foundation provides accountability to its donors for the dollars raised.  

How can I get involved with DSEF?

The Foundation Board is looking for community leaders who want to roll up their sleeves and get involved to further our important mission.  New Board Members keep the Foundation energized and volunteers are needed for the Golf Tournament and Gala, as well as various other events throughout the year.

Sign up for the Foundation newsletter here on our website, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

If you are interested in volunteering your time, or serving on the Board as a volunteer, please contact us via email to info@dseducationfoundation.org or by calling the DSEF office  (512)858-3063.

How can I help as a business leader?

The Foundation Board is looking for community leaders who want to roll up their sleeves and get involved to further our important mission.  New Board Members keep the Foundation energized and volunteers are needed for the Golf Tournament and Gala, as well as various other events throughout the year.

Sign up for the Foundation newsletter here on our website, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

If you are interested in volunteering your time, or serving on the Board as a volunteer, please contact us via email to info@dseducationfoundation.org or by calling the DSEF office  (512)858-3063.