SANTA MONICA/MALIBU–The fundraiser for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is currently short 49 percent of their $4 million goal for this school year. Although pledges are fewer compared to last year, the donors who are supporting are giving larger amounts.

From a Santa Monica Pier Party on April 26, that included music, food and activities, to an online auction with items such as luxury box tickets for a Kings, Clippers or Lakers game and A True Food Kitchen gift certificate, the SMMUSD is utilizing different avenues to guarantee the funds are there by the end of their fiscal year.

What may be causing this shortage of funding is growing support for splitting the school districts. In 2013, Advocates for Malibu Public Schools opened an office in the Malibu City Hall Building. Their goal is to separate the two districts in order to have more control of the education system for their children. Being a smaller population, Malibu residents feel their voices are overshadowed by the needs of the Santa Monica portion of the district. This has impacted their children’s educational needs. As the AMPS gains momentum, both groups are looking at different measures to ensure each district gets an equal portion of property if there is a mutual agreement to split.

If the financial goal is not reached, the SMMUSD will have to decide which programs and services will see a change in budget and which will have to be completely removed. This will force them to find ways to aid the children in transitioning from programs they were accustomed to having.