School District Moves Ahead with Its Phased Joint Funding Pool Proposal
• Corporate Grants Over $2500 Are Covered Immediately
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
Malibu parents opposed to a Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District plan that will centralize fundraising and prohibit individual school PTAs from directly funding programs or personnel campaigned up to the eleventh hour ahead of the special board of education meeting on the issue in Santa Monica on Tuesday, despite the consensus that the board of education would unanimously support the fundraising changes.
A petition launched on Nov. 17 pledging the support of "Malibu parents, students, community members and businesses to encourage the development of a reasonable alternative SMMUSD Districtwide Fundraising Plan," received more than 400 signatures.
Phone calls, emails and formal information sessions at school auditoriums have encouraged action on the measure that many Malibu parents say they see as a district grab for Malibu funding. Websites and organizations opposing the proposal have appeared, but many plan critics have stated that their only recourse is to seek a separate school district.
"The board of education meeting was still underway at Lincoln idle School in Santa Monica when the Malibu Surfside News went to press on Tuesday night, but the fundraising reform is expected to pass with a unanimous vote.
The revised text of the proposal states:
"To ensure program parity and equity across all schools and students in the district, the board is establishing a centralized and collaborative fundraising model that will enable the District to provide equity in program and personnel in all district schools while preserving flexibility at each school. This model will be implemented in phases. The board designates the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation as the central fundraising entity for the School District. Once this centralized model is implemented, the Education Foundation will be the only fundraising entity to raise funds for the district to use to pay for personnel and professional development."
The policy will be implemented in all district elementary schools beginning July 1, 2013.
Effective July 1, 2012, all corporate gifts to district elementary schools in an amount over $2500 and smaller gifts the cumulatively total $2,500 or more in a year will be directed through the Education Foundation. Current corporate gifts are exempt.