Human Relations Council Endorses SMMUSD “Vision For Student Success” Program

Sunday, 9 Feb 2014, 9:14:00 AM

Mirror Staff

The Human Relations Council-Santa Monica Bay Area announced its endorsement of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Sandra Lyon’s proposal for the Board of Education to allocate sufficient funds to supplement the total donations raised by the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation as of Jan. 31, 2014.

This will make sure that the Vision for Student Success program becomes fully operational in the 2014-15 school year as planned with a $4 million budget.

The VSS was launched in 2011 by the SMMUSD Board of Education in response to findings showing large differences in per pupil expenditures across schools associated with school-specific fundraising disparities.

Its purposes are to address the resulting educational opportunity gap among schools, while simultaneously raising educational opportunity for all.

As of Jan. 31, 2014, the first annual campaign netted more than $3,200,000 in contributions.

The program combines two components: centralized fundraising by the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation and the participation of diverse community stakeholders through the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee.

School-specific fundraising will continue, but its focus will be on funds for purchasing co-curricular items, rather than for hiring ancillary personnel.

The Human Relations Council views both components as essential to its success.

The organization’s chair, Ilda Jimenez y West, stated that “The HRC believes that the inclusion of diverse community stakeholders giving input about distribution of the funds will give the plan a better chance of garnering widespread community support, thereby increasing the likelihood of raising sufficient funds to achieve greater equality of educational opportunity, while simultaneously increasing educational achievement overall.”

Created in 2004, the Council is a non-profit partnership of community organizations, institutions, businesses, and individuals that promotes and supports a respectful and socially just community through education, advocacy, and resolution of local conflicts and issues.

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