The Role of the Irvine Public Schools Foundation in Advocating for Education

The Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) is a non-profit organization that is devoted to ensuring that students in the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) receive the highest quality education. The IPSF is passionate about advocating for education policies and funding at both the local and state level, and provides millions of dollars in funding each year to support STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education, small group learning, extracurricular and summer programs, grants for classroom innovation, and mental health initiatives. The IPSF also works to create a strategic vision; coordinate state policy and promotion; manage collective knowledge; and support the development of regional and local capacities. To ensure that schools and families are able to collaborate in ways that affirm culture and are mutually reinforcing, the IPSF encourages family and community participation practices that focus on building relationships and shared decision-making.

In addition, the IPSF has partnered with the City of Irvine to create the Challenge Match grant, which provides funding to bridge the gap between state funding and the needs of school districts. The IPSF also offers technical assistance initiatives for community schools in Alameda and Los Angeles counties. These initiatives help create environments that bolster students' confidence and motivation to take risks and engage deeply in school and learning. The IPSF also works to implement evidence-based principles for high-quality community schools based on four research-backed pillars.

These principles emphasize building trust between families, educators, and community partners, as well as reducing bureaucratic barriers to accessing learning opportunities and support services. The principal and school management team play a critical role in establishing a culture of collaborative leadership that actively integrates students, families, and community partners into the school community. Finally, the IPSF works to ensure that property tax revenues are not the only source of funding for education. The IPSF works with organizations such as the First 5 Association of California to provide necessary support for early childhood systems.

In addition, the IUSD school board has policies that govern donations and gifts to schools that PTA units must follow.

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