The Role of photography equipment and projectors for its math and science department; and Novato’s School Fuel will use a $50,768 grant to hire a
certified librarian and train teachers in the lat-
est learning technology. SchoolsRule’s grants
go to each of the 20 foundations in Marin,
and the foundations, working with teachers,
determine how the money can best be used.
Donations can still be made to individual
foundations, but money going to SchoolsRule
benefits every student in every Marin school.
A coalition to improve funding to all of
Marin’s public schools. BY JIM WOOD
Gilmour said he was being
inundated with requests for
money from every foundation
in Marin, each wanting
donations to its particular
school, be it elementary,
secondary or high school.
AN EDUCATOR AND a business- man walk into a Peet’s Coffee. No, this isn’t a joke, it really happened. Mary Jane Burke, Marin County’s superintendent of schools, saw David Gilmour, owner
of Paradise Foods — with markets in Corte
Madera and Novato — checking out the Cove
Shopping Center in Tiburon, site of his soon-to-be-open third store.
“Mary Jane,” said Gilmour. “Can you help me?”
“Sure, David,” Burke responded. “What
can I do?”
Gilmour said he was being inundated
with requests for money from every founda-
tion in Marin, each wanting donations to its
particular school, be it elementary, second-
ary or high school.
“There are dozens of them,” Gilmour said.
“Can’t these foundations be unified? So I can
donate once, and donate big, and you distrib-
ute the money to all the schools in Marin?”
And from that encounter, SchoolsRule-
Marin, which is on its way to raising $750,000
to benefit every school district in the county,
was off to a running start. Here’s the back-
ground: Marin has more than 33,000 K– 12
students in 20 different school districts. Some
districts are big, others tiny, and while many
are affluent, several districts barely get by.
Making matters worse, local schools have
recently lost $55 million in state funding.
Enter SchoolsRule-Marin. “Its mission is
to raise money for all students in all of Marin’s
public schools,” explains Burke. Since 2010,
SchoolsRule has raised and distributed, on
a per capita basis, more than $220,000 to
local schools. Examples: Sausalito Marin City
received $2,425 to support technology; Drake
High got $6,182 for its music department,