Foundation to distribute more than $350K

CARLSBAD — While the Carlsbad Unified School District continues to face more potentials for budget cuts, the Carlsbad Educational Foundation offers a glimmer of hope to students and families. The CEF (Carlsbad Educational Foundation) recently announced it will be allocating more than $350,000 for the remainder of the 2011- 2012 school year.
The monies are comprised of a collection of grants, local corporate donations and enrichment programs to benefit the 11,000 students within the Carlsbad Unified School District, or CUSD.
Valin Brown, chief executive officer of CEF, said these funds allow the foundation to help fill the educational gap in the areas of music, science and innovative programs that help students thrive. The CEF supports 15 enrichment programs for children from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Although the donation numbers are impressive, Brown admits he wishes it could have been more because state budget measures are cutting deeper.
“On one level, we feel very proud because we know by rallying individuals, corporations, foundations and special events that we were able to make a collective impact on 11,000 children, which is gratifying,” Brown said. “On another level, I think it shows the value that the community places on high quality education which is also critical.”
There is a third level for Brown, which is the staggering statewide budget cuts that are hitting everywhere, including Carlsbad. According to Brown, recent numbers forecast a 2012-2013 fiscal deficit of around $11 million for the CUSD.
“So we are proud on one level with what we’ve raised, but we know that education is going to face a lot more challenges moving forward,” he said. “We have our work cut out for us.”
Over the next three years, it is Brown’s hope to double the foundation’s grant making numbers. He said there is still an immense potential. “There are a lot of folks that want to give back, want to support the local communities, but haven’t been shown a way to do it,” said Brown, adding that awareness could help raise more private support for public schools.
To learn more about the CEF, visit carlsbaded.org or call (760) 929-1555.

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