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SDUSD Looking For Help Funding Supplies

The San Diego Unified School District plans to open a school supplies fund with help from the San Diego Foundation, an umbrella group for area charities, it was announced today.

The idea is for the foundation to solicit tax-deductible donations and turn its proceeds over to the school district before classes start next fall. The money distributed based on enrollment.

Schools have cut back on buying basic supplies due to reduced funding.

Superintendent Bill Kowba, speaking at a news conference, said some campuses had only about half the supplies they did in the past.

Sandy Mattson, a volunteer at McKinley Elementary School in North Park, said students raised money for schools in Mexico last year. Soon afterward, members of a church started raising money for McKinley.

"This is what it's coming to," Mattson said.

School officials asked San Diegans to donate the fund, suggesting individual gifts of $98 -- equal to what property owners would have had to pay if a tax, rejected in November, would have been approved by voters.

If the district raises $1 million, it would be able to distribute about $8.50 per student to schools, a figure they'd like to beat, trustee John Lee Evans said.

"A small amount of money can go a long way in a classroom," Evans said.

The school board is set to consider approving fund this evening. The foundation will charge 1.5 percent to handle its part of the fundraising effort.

Evans said he wants the district to set up an independent fund with its own board. It would solicit donations from individuals, corporations and foundations.

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