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Special meeting June 11 to coordinate fundraising for San Juan school sports programs

The San Juan Public Schools Foundation and the San Juan Island Community Foundation have raised more than $350,000 to preserve academic and athletic programs for the 2008-09 school year.

However, school district officials say an additional $125,000 in matching funds must be raised to fully restore athletic programs, instructional programs and basic services. Superintendent Michael Soltman has called a special meeting of the school board on June 11, 6 p.m. to discuss options for raising dollars necessary to fully fund the athletic program.

Soltman urged coaches, students, parents and interested community members to attend this session to discuss the raising of funds to restore the golf, boys soccer, boys tennis, track, volleyball and wrestling programs.

“With the 'challenge gift' of $300,000 and matching funds raised so far, we are able to restore classroom teaching positions, the Primary Intervention Program, part of the athletic program, and some essential secretarial, custodial and student support services," Soltman said in a press release.

"However, another $125,000 must be raised to fully restore our programs and services for the 2008-09 school year.”

On Friday, the school board will hold a special meeting to hear presentations from the legislative liaisons of the Washington Association of School Administrators and the Washington State School Directors Association. Presentations will include information about current and proposed legislative efforts to address basic education funding, as well as information about the status of lawsuits challenging the adequacy of basic education funding in our state.

The schools foundation has set a goal to raise the remaining $125,000 by Aug. 31 to ensure a full academic and co-curricular program next year.

Paul LeBaron, president of the schools foundation, noted that every dollar raised now is matched by the “Challenge Gift.” He urged community members wishing to make a contribution to call the schools foundation “SOS Hotline” at 370-7925, or to use the “donate now” secure link on the foundation Web site, www.sjpsf.org.

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