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Patch Blog: Is Shopping Local the Best Way to Raise Funds for Schools?

Our children need fundraising more than ever, but our Monrovia merchants are overwhelmed by fundraising requests and suffering from our weak economy. How do we find a happy medium?

During the past couple of months, Monrovians have been having a lively discussion about fundraising.

It all began with a marquee at Clifton Middle School asking Monrovians . The next screen specified to save your receipts from certain dates. People were most likely shopping at the mall for Christmas, so what damage could this really do?

Well, lots, it seemed when our newest elect Board Member saw this advertising out of context. Mr. Hammond did what he is required to do when he has a question -- call the superintendent. Being the holidays, a decision was made, after another two calls were received, to pull off the Shop Westfield Mall advertisement.

It took over a month to make a decision to put the sign up, though now the highlight is to save your receipts. These actions caused lots of dialogue, , some at the PTA Council meeting, some at the Board's meeting. It unfortunately also caused some funds to be lost from the people that did shop at the Westfield Mall but did not know it would make a difference to our school fundraiser.

We now know that everyone had all of Monrovia's best interests at heart. Our PTA is concerned about raising funds, our Board of Education is concerned about making sure we shop Monrovia, but all of us know that Monrovia is part of the San Gabriel Valley and no one is asking to avoid shopping Monrovia. All that is being asked is that if you are already going to shop at the mall, why not turn in your receipts to help our schools?

To button this up really nicely, Mr. Rob Hammond has graciously agreed to donate an acoustic guitar for the upcoming "Surf's Up at the Mayflower Auction." Thank you Mr. Hammond! We look forward to seeing you at the auction!

If you, your family or friends (adults) would like to attend the the Mayflower fundraiser:

March 24th, 6-10pm
Cost: $40 per person, $75 per couple, plus money for the auction!!
Dinner is included, no-host bar
Dalcorp Car Museum
852 S. Alta Vista Ave,
Monrovia, CA

For ANY receipts you might have from the Westfield Mall, please turn them in to either Clifton (who REALLY needs funds) or Mayflower (who is always happy to get funds). Deadline is April 30th, 2012.

We have our Munch Accross Monrovia throughout local restaurants, please check the Patch, or with friends and family that have children at our MUSD schools for ongoing events. It is great to support our local restaurants while also helping our schools during these financial challenging times.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Alex Zucco February 16, 2012 at 06:14 PM
As I understand it, while property owners pay property tax, not every business owner is a property owner. And as with personal property, property tax only increases upon a sale of the property - not increased sales. And the only time our property taxes going up would actually help the schools, is if they were to go up so drastically, we could become a Basic Aid District (like Beverly Hills, Newport or Saratoga - only 100 of the over 1,000 CA School Districts are Basic Aid). Here is a great link to how schools are funded: http://www.edsource.org/iss_fin_sys_revenues.html and of special note - the line below the pie chart on: Property taxes: are collected locally but allocated to schools based on a state-determined formula. (Cities and counties also receive a guaranteed amount of property tax revenue.) So while an information session on how schools are funded is a great idea -- I would much rather spend my time and energy talking about academic achievement, student progress, and other items related to what goes on IN the classroom and not on a topic that has nothing to do with educating our children. And as a point of clarification: Tom Adams does donate to our schools, not only financially but with in-kind donations...allowing schools to use his businesses resources. Please join us on Weds., Feb. 22nd @ 7pm for the next Board meeting – hopefully this will be an extremely brief discussion and the schools can start talking about education again.
Tom Adams February 16, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Alex, you are partially correct. There are others taxes that as a non-business owner you may not be aware of. You are referring to "real" property taxes but there are other forms of property that are not clissified as "real property". That is why I think a lesson on where your money comes from might be a good idea. It becomes impossible to have a plan unless you know hwere your money comes from. Imagine a farmer needing to harvest a crop but not knowing what field it is in?
Clifton Mom February 17, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Is anyone going to respond to the fact that PTA paid for the Clifton Marquee??? Not tax dollars???
Carmen Martinez February 17, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I agree with Gayle and Alex, although Tom Adams and I do not always see things the same way, I truly appreciate all he does for our community! I got a chance to volunteer with him last year and he worked harder than anyone there! PTA is not asking Monrovians to change our shopping habits, we are asking to leverage what we already do. If you, your family or friends happen to shop at the Westfield malls, please send your receipts to Clifton. You can physically send them there, you can mail them (226 South Ivy Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016, attn Kim Petulla), or take them to the concierge at the mall. Lots of people shop online, Mr. Adams has a family member that is a fan of Chico, which has a brick and mortar store at the mall, how difficult would it be if for one time instead of shopping online at Chico, JC Penney, etc, we can walk to the actual store, do the shopping we were ALREADY going to do and give the receipt to Clifton? I am certain not one single person has changed their shopping habits based on the Clifton marquee sign. We all love our little boutique shops, the Doll Maker, the amazing restaurants we have in town. Lots of people participated at the Wine event on Myrtle as well as the New Year celebrations. The Farmer's Market & street fair is always buzzing with activity. As our economy continues to improve, so will our town!
Chris Ziegler February 17, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Alex, Thanks so much for the link! If I understand the charts correctly, buying anything anywhere in the state of California supports education since state sales taxes are the single largest source of funding. While we are on the subject of finances: My neighbor is a pastor of a church and he claims they just saved some money by working with Solar City and entering into a solar lease program. There was zero out of pocket cost to the church and over time, as rates increase, the savings will increase. Although we are likely moving to Pasadena for the next school year, if we were to stay in Monrovia, we would be interested in a hybrid of public and private education i.e. MUSD partner/sublease with private education providers so that our child can stay on campus for additional education both academic and phys ed. Seems wasteful to send parents rushing all over town to tutors and athletics when our existing facilities are underutilized - this model would be good for the city since gyms and academic businesses do not generate as much revenue as retail and reducing traffic enhances quality of life and increases property values.

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