Who Funds What

Oxford Elementary’s budget is not fully covered by federal and state funding for the Berkeley public schools. In addition to California Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and federal Title 1 funds,

Oxford’s full curriculum is kept afloat by:

  1. special local tax ballot measure (BSEP), and,
  2. funds raised by the Oxford PTA.

BSEP Funding in Berkeley

BSEP program banner20% of all funding for BUSD schools has been provided through a local tax measure known as BSEP​ (Berkeley Schools Excellence Project) since 1986—the intent of the special tax is to make up for the low level of state funding ever since California voters enacted Prop 13 in 1978 and bring funding per student up to the U.S. average. It now provides $25 million to our schools. BSEP funds ensure small class sizes, classroom support, instructor training, program evaluation, libraries, technology and many other programs “essential for excellence” (see below for Oxford’s).

On November 8, 2016 voters in Berkeley gave a resounding “Yes” to Ballot Measure E1, which means the Berkeley Unified School District will receive at least $28 million per year in special local tax funding through BSEP for the next eight years. While the count is not yet official as of this date, the reported 88.65% approval was the highest ever achieved for the BSEP special tax measure, which requires at least 66.7% to pass. [Note: BSEP is not the same thing as the Berkeley Public Schools Fund, a non-profit that provides grants to teachers.]

Facts about BSEP at Oxford

Key Oxford programs provided by the BSEP tax:

book stack

  • 1/3 of our classroom teachers (which lowers class size)
  • The entire school library (staff and all materials)
  • Music program
  • School counselors
  • Technology services
  • And site discretionary funds that provide:

    • 20% of literacy coach
    • 20% of technology teacher to help students and teachers
    • Kindergarten aide
    • Instructional assistants for math and literacy for differentiated instruction
    • After-school tutoring for reading and math
    • Substitute teachers for collaboration and assessments
    • Time for teachers to review data, collaborate and plan
    • Funding for materials and supplies for math, art and P.E.
    • Additional funding for the counseling program

How BSEP funds are governed

A school district committee called the Planning and Oversight (P&O) Committee advises the School Board on spending the funds for district-wide programs such as libraries and music, and each school has a School Governance Committee (the SGC) that advises on how to spend the discretionary funds that are given to every school on a per student basis—about $230 per student at every school, which comes from BSEP.

Let Principal Beth Rhine know if you are interested in serving on the SGC or the District P&O Committee!

Primary Source of Flexible Funding = PTA

Funding for enrichment programs is provided primarily by the Oxford PTA. The PTA has to raise >$125,000 per year, roughly $500 per student. Not everyone in the Oxford community can afford $500, but if you are able, please donate.

A few examples of what donations support:

Unase Hoy. PTA: Conectando Familias y Escuelas
Join today:
membership discounts, no volunteer requirement
  • $9 pays for one month of physical education (PE) for a student
  • $16 pays for the art supplies and playground equipment one child needs for the year
  • $61 per student pays for art instruction for the year
  • $435 per student pays for our kindergartners and fifth graders to receive individualized support from instructional assistants throughout the school year
  • $2,000 pays for one month for all of our kids and teachers to receive technology and keyboard training

The many ways to help, including and beyond $$:

  1. Join the PTA to support Oxford with $15 in annual dues and votes on important issues.
  2. Volunteer on community building / fundraising events and more—contact the PTA for more info.
  3. Donate!
  4. Shop and give—send precious pennies Oxford’s way as you go about your regular routine.