BONSALL: Pala donates $140,000 to Vivian Banks Charter School

North County Times 9.8.11


The Pala Band of Mission Indians presented $140,000 to the Bonsall Union School District at a Tuesday board meeting in what administrators said is a reliable and much-appreciated donation.

The money will be used to assist Vivian Banks Charter School on the Pala reservation.

"It's a significant contribution that keeps that school running out there," said Tom Krzmarzick, the district's assistant superintendent of business services. "Without it, it'd be pretty hard to make ends meet."

Pala Chairman Robert Smith presented the check to the board.

"We are pleased to help the Bonsall School District provide the best education possible for our local students," Smith said in a press release before the presentation. "Budget cuts continue to be a reality for many organizations, but education needs to be a priority. This contribution will help ensure access to a high quality education for our region's future leaders."

The district's adopted budget for the 2011-12 school year is about $13.8 million, but the charter school has a separate budget of about $823,000, Krzmarzick said. The Pala Band of Mission Indians has given the district about $400,000 over the past three years, and their contributions are a reliable part of the school's annual revenue, he said.

Superintendent Justin Cunningham said Pala helps pay for about two-thirds of the $33,000 annual lease for Vivian Banks, which opened about 16 years ago in a former Catholic school at Pala Mission.

Last year, the tribe also provided $14,000 to install smart board technology and iPod Touches for English learners at the school, and it pays the salary of a physical education teacher at Vivian Banks.

"It's something we're extremely grateful for," Cunningham said. "In these times, it would be extremely difficult to have that school out there."

Cunningham said the tribe also funds transportation to Norm Sullivan Middle School for students who have attended Vivian Banks.

Call staff writer Gary Warth at 760-740-5410.

Pala Band of Mission Indians

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