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President’s Message-Protecting the Investment We’ve Made in our Kids and our Schools

Benjamin Franklin is well known for his pithy and wise statements. One of my favorites is “An investment
in knowledge always pays the best interest.” As an investment management professional, the father of two
young boys, and this school year’s volunteer President of the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation
(LCFEF), this quote is truly aligned with my values.
Many of us, my family included, moved to La Cañada because of the excellent schools and, in doing so,
made an investment in our homes that we believed would translate into an excellent public education for
our children.
There are many ways to measure the success of our schools and our students. Empirical measures may
include test scores and college admission rates, while more subjective barometers may take into account the
breadth of curriculum and the high quality of extracurricular activities available to our students. By all of
these benchmarks, the La Cañada Unified School District and its students are extremely successful and
thriving.
But due to proposition 13 and other legislative measures passed in the 1970s, the investment we made in
our homes doesn’t directly contribute to the costs of our excellent public schools. The La Cañada Flintridge
Educational Foundation was established almost forty years ago to counteract this legislation — to make up
the difference between what we expect for our children and what the state is able to provide.
The expenses associated with operating our very successful school district have risen significantly over the
past several years. Technology, teacher training, instructional salaries, and mandated retirement
contributions have resulted in the operational costs of our school district rising more than 40% over the last
six years. Keeping pace with the changing landscape of education will require that we keep pace with the
costs associated with operating an excellent public school district.
LCFEF has worked hard and has relied on the generosity of school families, community members and local
businesses to raise $2 million, year-in and year-out, to support our schools. We work closely with our
school district leadership to reduce class sizes, increase S.T.E.M., art, and music instruction, pay for
guidance counselors, and to attract and retain quality teachers. However, in order to keep pace with rising
costs, we will now need to DO MORE by ASKING MORE of our community in order to ensure that our
schools remain excellent and that our students remain successful.
The Directors of the LCFEF are very excited about the upcoming school year. And we know that with the
increased support of our community, the 2017/2018 school year will be simply outstanding.

Kevin Martin

2017-18 LCFEF President