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NC Times: Residents can dine out all week to help support schools

By Stacy Brandt


Original Article is Here:

A group of parents in Carlsbad has organized an effort to raise money for local schools over the next several days.

During the I Heart Carlsbad Schools Week fundraiser, more than 30 local businesses have agreed to donate a portion of profits to the Carlsbad Unified School District to help prevent future spending cuts. The event runs April 28 to May 6.

“Think restaurant night on steroids,” said Valin Brown, executive director of the Carlsbad Educational Foundation, which has teamed up with the parents.

The effort was organized by the district’s, which formed last year to find ways to raise money for local schools.

District officials are projecting a shortfall of more than $2 million next year and as much as $9 million in 2013-14 if the amount of money coming in from the state and from property taxes doesn’t increase.

Local restaurants, stores and services will donate a percentage of sales to the schools for people who bring in a flier or coupon voucher. The amount will vary, but most have agreed to donate about 20 percent, said Claudine Jones, one of the parents who started the task force.

A list of participating businesses is available online at Fliers will be available at schools and on the website.

One restaurant has gone even further. Senior Grubby’s created an “I Heart Carlsbad Schools burrito” and agreed to give the group $1 for each one sold through the end of the year.

Jones said she hopes the initiative will encourage people to treat themselves to a meal and support schools.

The group carefully picked next week for the fundraiser because it’s sandwiched between the foundation’s Celebrate Carlsbad Day at Legoland California, on Saturday, and the Carlsbad Village Street Faire, on May 6.

The parents also are working with city officials to encourage them to support the district financially and are exploring other moneymaking ideas, such as selling ad space on campuses.

“These are seeds that we’re laying for future opportunities,” Jones said.

This year, district officials say they expect to bring in about $74 million and spend about $81 million. The district has enough in reserve to cover the difference this year but won’t have enough next year, officials have said.

District revenue has declined from $86 million in 2009-10 to $83 million last year and a projected $74 million this year.