Santa Monica-Malibu Schools Receive $450,000 Donation

Judi Lynne Donation

Santa Monica resident Judi Lynne has gifted just over $450,000 to the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation, boosting a massive annual districtwide fundraising drive to benefit local schools.

The gift signifies one of the largest monetary contributions to SMMEF in the group’s history. Lynne’s donation will go toward the Vision for Student Success (VSS) program, which benefits various programs, classes and staffing for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. 

“Like all donations to SMMEF, this gift will help ensure that the amazing SMMEF-funded staff and programs in our schools, including teacher training, arts education, additional middle and high school classes, and instructional assistants, continue during the next school year,” SMMEF Executive Director Linda Greenburg said in a press release.

The districtwide fundraising model has ruffled many Malibu feathers since being implemented in 2013, with some stakeholders arguing that they should be able to specify which programs and schools their money benefits, rather than money being spread throughout the district. 

Lynne’s hefty check brings SMMEF’s annual fundraising total to $1,820,463 for the 2014-2015 school year. The organization needs to raise $4 million by June 30 to keep all programs fully funded. SMMEF fell $800,000 short of its 2013-2014 VSS fundraising goal. The Board of Education agreed to make up the deficit.

“VSS programs include instructional assistants, literacy coaches, art instruction for every elementary grade, additional class sections for middle and high schools, professional development for teachers and instructional assistants, and discretionary grants for school-specific enrichment programs,” according to SMMEF.