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BH Schools, Foundation Raise $540,000 for Teacher Jobs

Fundraising will continue through Friday, with several restaurants joining the campaign.

An unprecedented effort to raise $1 million to prevent teacher layoffs has been extended until Friday after it got more than halfway to its goal in one week.

The so-called , led by the nonprofit Beverly Hills Education Foundation, with support from the Beverly Hills Unified School District and all five school PTAs, raised $540,000 last week. The campaign aims to raise funds for BHUSD teachers and counselors who were told in March that they might ; state education law requires that staff be told of potential layoffs by March 15, with actual layoffs by May 15.

At a special Board of Education meeting held Monday evening, BHEF Chairman Jonathan Prince announced that the campaign was going strong and would continue until Friday. Unlike other BHEF fundraisers, money raised this week is being given directly to BHUSD. The list of jobs to be saved was determined by the BHUSD superintendent together with the five school principals.

Mark Frenn, the head of the Beverly Hills Educational Association teachers union, told the board that his members would consider taking a two-day unpaid furlough to help the district save money. Each furlough day could save between $120,000 and $150,000.

Although the BHEA has yet to approve the furlough days, the board majority opted to count on furlough-related savings when it voted 3-2 to reinstall all 10 positions listed in the One Campaign literature. Board members Myra Lurie and Jake Manaster dissented. 

The board majority—President Lisa Korbatov, Vice President Brian Goldberg and member Steven Fenton—also voted to move $244,272 in subway-related spending to Measure E funds, rather than from the general school fund. As Patch has reported, the BHUSD has to fight a Metropolitan Transporation Authority proposal to tunnel under Beverly Hills High School as part of the Westside Subway Extension.

The BHUSD's bond counsel recently told the district that it could use Measure E funds for MTA-related expenses because the Metro proposal would greatly impact construction plans at BHHS, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Alex Cherniss told Patch.

For more background on the decision to use Measure E funds to fight the MTA, check back with the Notebook on Thursday for a follow-up report.

Patch encourages residents to keep giving to the One Campaign, as any new funds raised will help save additional BHUSD jobs. In addition, visit the following businesses that are supporting the effort:

  • and —The restaurants will donate 15 percent of the check when patrons mention the One Campaign.
  • The Ruby Room, and —The restaurants will donate 10 percent of any dinner check when a patron mentions the One Campaign.
  • —Customers who mention the campaign will get 30 percent of their check donated.
  • —Purchase a package of whole bean coffee, a package of whole leaf tea or any organic coffee or tea beverage and 50 percent of the check will be donated upon mentioning the One Campaign.

For those of you who have helped with the fundraiser, Patch thanks you for your support of Beverly Hills' public schools.

Be sure to follow Beverly Hills Patch on Twitter and "Like" us on Facebook.

Joel Epstein May 11, 2011 at 10:43 PM
I am delighted for the students of Beverly Hills that the money that was stolen from them to launch a misguided fight against a subway station at Constellation Blvd in Century City - the location that will attract the most Metro riders - will get the instruction they deserve. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the School Board has been irresponsible in wasting its time and the Taxpayers' money on lawyers, lobbyists and PR flacks. The other thing that the taxpayers of Beverly Hills should be aware of is the Board's shell game in moving around money so that it can continue with its losing battle against the subway. The only beneficiaries of the School Board foolishness are the lawyers, lobbyist and PR flacks. It's time for the taxpayers to say basta to the School Board and for the voters to throw the bums out.
Brian David Goldberg, PhD May 11, 2011 at 10:48 PM
Once again a person who does not let facts get in the way of his opinion. Visit www.centurycitysubway.org for the facts
John Mirisch May 12, 2011 at 07:22 AM
Joel Epstein is like Gollum and the Constellation alignment is his "precious." It is most unfortunate that the BHUSD would have to spend money pushing for the subway alignment that Metro sold to Beverly Hills for all these years, but the blame needs to be placed squarely on those who deserve it: Metro. And let me clarify, I don't mean the Metro staff, who simply follows the lead of the Metro board, which is made up of politicians and political apointees. If the BHUSD's resistance leads to Metro's actually following through on the original plan of the Santa Monica alignment, the taxpayers of Los Angeles County, as well as the US taxpayers who will be asked to fund the 30-10 plan, will owe them a debt of gratitude. Epstein simply refuses to believe that politicians might be suceptible to the influence of wealthy and well-connected developers, who know how to use the political system to their own ends. If he thinks that the growth of Century City is a model of politicians' listening more to the residents than to the developers, he probably hasn't lived in LA long enough. Whatever the case, the residents of BH are to be commended for sticking up for our schools and our School Board is to be commended for sticking up for our residents.
Brian David Goldberg, PhD May 12, 2011 at 05:41 PM
Thank you John, you have been a tireless advocate for the residents on the MTA and your leadership on the Council will be critical in our fight to get past the name calling and focus on the facts and issues.

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