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MBEF Donates $5 Million to MBUSD

The Manhattan Beach Education Foundation has increased its donation to the public school district by $400,000 for the 2012-2013 school year. The grants will fund numerous programs, including the expansion of the iPad Program.

The Manhattan Beach Education Foundation donated $5 million to the Manhattan Beach Unified School District for its 2012-2013 school year Tuesday night.

“This is a gift to our schools that comes from parents, the community and district donors,” said Nina Patel said, MBEF co-president at the meeting.  “We all know that if we didn’t have this funding, these [teachers'] positions would be at risk."

The donation, a $400,000 increase from MBEF's grants for 2011-2012, will support 72 educators across seven schools.

“Our donors are committed to keeping as many people employed at our schools as possible,” said Patel. “Without their (donors') commitment, our schools would look very different. There would be no small class sizes, no hands-on science, no librarians and fewer counselors.”

About $2.38 million will go to elementary schools, funding mainly classroom teachers as well as librarians and reading, science and computer specialists.

About $2.2 million will go to the middle school and high school, funding teachers in English and humanities classes, librarians and science laboratory assistants. The MBEF-funded addition of an English teacher at MBMS will allow for new elective classes in film production and public speaking, according to MBEF.

District-wide grants totaling $590,400 will also help fund music teachers, 21st Century Teaching and Learning programs and writing initiative programs. Almost 38 percent of the cost of the music program will be supported by the MBEF.

MBEF will also fund a teacher for the expansion of the school district's iPad Program, which was approved by the board Tuesday night at the meeting. 

“My hats off to all the parent donors and volunteers who have stepped up and protected teachers and students in our schools,” Patel said. “Where the state has fallen, parents have picked it up.”

Unlike other school districts in California, MBUSD has not had to eliminate school days or teachers or create furloughs. In a written statement, Patel reported, "It is good fiscal management from the school board, and donations from the community, that puts our schools in an enviable position of being able to ride out the ongoing financial storm."

Patel also said that parent volunteers have saved MBEF nearly $500,000 in overhead costs; money "that can be spent on students instead."

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