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Donation Heart Ribbon

Can You Spare A Dime For San Diego City Schools?

Audio

Aired 2/9/11

San Diego's cash-strapped school district considers starting a foundation to solicit contributions.

— San Diego schools might start asking local residents, "Hey buddy, can you spare a dime?"

District officials say it is part of a new approach by the cash-strapped school district.

It’s not exactly a tin cup or a donation box. Instead, San Diego trustees are looking into setting up a private, nonprofit foundation for the district. San Diegans would donate certain levels of financial support from $98 to $450.

Many schools have formed their own foundations in recent years, allowing parents to donate money to pay for people, programs and services at their specific schools.

Trustee John Evens says the money raised by a district-wide foundation this year would go toward a district-wide classroom-supply fund. He says the money would be evenly distributed.

“If a particular school gets $1,000 or a few hundred dollars for additional supplies, that could make a real difference,” he said. “So many parents came to me asking, ‘Is there something we can do?’ This is something very concrete we can do that will make a difference in our schools.”

The district asked voters three months ago to approve a parcel tax to offset its budget shortfall. More than 50 percent voted for the measure, well shy of the two-thirds vote needed to pass. Evans believes there is enough people who would still want to contribute.

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