SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) is approximately $1 million short of its fundraising goal of $4 million, and is seeking donations until its January 31 deadline.

The SMMEF is an organization founded in 1982 by a group of parents, community leaders and local business owners. Its purpose is to respond to federal and state education budget cuts by providing supplements to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s (SMMUSD) curriculum. The Foundation raises funds to support schools in the areas of Academics, Arts and Athletics.

In 2011, the SMMUSD designated the SMMEF as the sole source for funding when it comes to hiring and developing personnel, a decision that sparked controversy among many parents, who feared that donations would not be effectively used towards their children’s schools. Every year, the SMMEF is charged with the responsibility of raising $4 million.

The campaign that was born from that policy, called Vision for Student Success, was started so that public schools in the SMMUSD would be able to hire and train more teachers’ aides and literacy coaches, reduce second-and third-grade class sizes and provide education in the arts for elementary students.

“The $4 million annual campaign supports the SMMUSD Vision for Student Success entirely,” said Associate Director Rachel Faulkner, to Canyon News. The campaign will be enacted from 2014 to 2015.

To donate or find more information on the campaign, visit