Members of our community often ask questions about the Briarcliff Manor Education Foundation (BMEF). Here are the answers to those frequently asked questions.
What is the BMEF?
Incorporated in 1995, the BMEF is a non-profit, charitable organization that functions independently from, but works in cooperation with, the Briarcliff Manor School District. Through donations from you, we fund cutting-edge technology, innovative programs and curriculum that are beyond the scope of public school funding. Collectively, these resources give our students an advantage in an increasingly competitive and global world.
Would it make a difference if the BMEF didn't exist?
Yes, a significant difference! Some of the District’s most popular and highly regarded programs, like the forensic science class at the high school and the outdoor classroom at the middle school, would not exist without the BMEF. We expect our school district to be a leader and our children to achieve educational excellence above the average. In these challenging financial times, this isn’t accomplished through public school funding alone. The BMEF is a vital instrument of support.
How many grants have been awarded?
Through the 2011-2012 school year, we have funded 247 grants totalling nearly $700,000, enriching the educational experience of all students at all grade levels.
Who submits grant requests to the BMEF?
Most grant proposals come from our teachers and administrators; however, we also welcome requests from students and community members for resources that support the school district.
What grants have been funded by the BMEF?
The BMEF has funded grants in every academic area, including physical education and the performing arts; they are found in almost every classroom thoughout our district. Talk to your children about their educational experiences and you will hear enthusiastic descriptions of inventive programs funded by the BMEF. We fund programs, equipment, technology and experiences directly connected to curriculum that will enhance our children's education. For a more detailed description and pictures of our grants in action, please click here. Through the Teacher's Institute, the professional development arm of the Foundation, we also fund cutting-edge professional development opportunities that spark teacher innovation.
How can I justify donating money to the BMEF since I already pay taxes?
Even our substantial school taxes cannot support ALL of the innovative programs, technology and curriculum enhancements that our residents value. Most of the school budget goes toward fixed costs of personnel, facility and operations, with a small percentage left for educational materials and technology, programs and equipment. As costs rise, it is more difficult to include these important educational elements in the school budget. The BMEF funds resources the school district cannot afford. Your donations are crucial to continue our commitment to enhance your Briarcliff student’s education.
Do other public schools have foundations?
Yes! Most high performing districts like ours do have foundations that support their school district. Some local districts with foundations include Bedford, Bronxville, Chappaqua, Dobbs Ferry, Harrison, Irvington, Katonah, Pelham and Pocantico.
What amount do most people give?
We have received individual donations from $10 to $10,000. Every donation is meaningful and put to good use.
Who decides how the money is spent?
We have a 30-member board comprised of community volunteers. The Superintendent of Schools and administrators offer input and insight to the grants committee. That feedback, along with detailed research and a rigorous evaluation of each grant, is presented to the full Board for a vote. As representatives of our community and our donors, the BMEF Board members take their responsibilities very seriously. Our careful, thoughtful and thorough consideration ensures that each grant is consistent with the BMEF mission and the goals of the school district.