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Foundation Ends Drive with More than $1.5 million Raised  

By Lookout Staff

August 17, 2010 – Save Our Schools ended its 60-day fundraising drive with an “SOS Grand Finale Celebration” Sunday and $1.517 million to pump immediately into the cash-strapped School District, the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation announced Monday.

Raised by more than 1,000 volunteers, dozens of local business partnerships and more than 2,000 contributors, the funds could restore as many as 18 positions, lower class sizes and restore programs for the upcoming school year, foundation officials said.

“The success of Save Our Schools breaks a number of records for the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation,” said Linda Greenberg Gross, the foundation’s executive director.

“Not only is the largest dollar amount that we have raised in such a tight time-frame, but this campaign has seen more volunteer and community participation than any previous campaign in our history,” Gross said.

Contributions were earmarked for the following three “buckets”:

$655,000 donated to relieve elementary class size,

$332,000 for secondary class size and counselors, and

$397,000 for Music & Libraries.

The balance came through a large number of undesignated contributions.

At a School Board meeting Wednesday, the board, along with the District Superintendent Tim Cuneo and District staff, will determine which positions and programs will be restored.

Save Our Schools officials caution that the funds raised will only cover one year and that "long-term sustainable solutions" must be found to help make a dent in the more than $7 million in State funding cuts.

A half-cent sales tax measure will be on the November 2 ballot, along with a non-binding question asking voters whether they support designating half the estimated $13 million in annual revenue to the School District.

The foundation said it will continue its work when school starts next month, to develop “a strategic, sustainable fundraising plan for SMMUSD schools.”

“If I’ve learned anything from the last 60 days,” said Gross “it’s that we are stronger and more powerful when we work together.”

“Our community has demonstrated time after time that it cares about maintaining the quality of our local public schools,” said Shari Davis, president of the Council of PTAs. “This summer it has rallied to do just that. This energy and commitment is one of so many reasons that I’m proud to be a member of this wonderful community”

For final information on the Save Our Schools Campaign, visit



"The success of Save Our Schools breaks a number of records for the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation,"
Linda Greenberg Gross




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