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Santa Monica Schools Get $2.1 Million Funding Boost from Education Foundation

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By Lookout Staff

August 19, 2019 -- The Santa Monica Education Foundation presented the School Board with a $2.1 million grant on Thursday to help local schools fund programs and staff positions.

The $2,104,564 in funding was contributed by local parents, community members and businesses, with $333,000 of the total raised during the Foundation's annual wine auction, officials of the non-profit said.

The money will support, among other things, arts programs, classroom aides, STEM and student wellness during the 2019-2020 school year, officials said.

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“With California state funding for TK-12 education continuing to fall behind other states, I am so grateful to each of the donors who gave during our annual campaign,” said Linda Greenberg, the Foundation's executive director.

“They have personally helped enriched the education of our Santa Monica public schools and shown that they believe in the promise of public education.”

Among the program it will help fund is Santa Monica High School's Project Lead the Way, a four-year engineering program, and bilingual music education at Edison Language Academy.

Roosevelt Elementary school uses the funds for an "innovative teacher training and collaboration model" with Columbia Universitty in New York.

School Board President Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein said the grant allows the District to offer initiatives that go "beyond what is funded by the state.

"This is not the norm and our entire community benefits tremendously from this investment in education,” he said.

This marked the first year money was collected under a School District policy approved last summer that replaced a centralized fundraising model with separate fundraising efforts for Santa Monica and Malibu schools ("School Board Separates Santa Monica, Malibu Fundraising Efforts," July 6, 2018).

The fundraising efforts were split up after donations from Malibu parents to the joint Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation fell far short of those from Santa Monica parents ("Santa Monica School Board Member Says Malibu Parents Boycotting Education Foundation," May 16, 2016).

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