When a long-time supporter of Pacifica middle school music programs announced it could no longer act as a permanent funding source, parents and concerned citizens organized to find a solution.
They formed a new group, called themselves Music Matters in Pacifica (MMiP), and quickly formed an alliance with the Pacifica Education Foundation, which has committed to funding music programs through fiscal year 2012.
PEF will replace the Rob Schneider Music Foundation, which announced in February it would not be able to fully fund the music program for the 2011-2012 school year. Rob Schneider Music supported an instrumental music program in the Pacifica School District for grades 6-8.
Pacifica Education Foundation is a non-profit organization with sufficient funding resources to make band and music programs possible for the school district. MMiP will become a subcommittee of the foundation, with oversight of the music funding commitment.
"The synergy between the two groups just happened naturally. It just made sense," said Lisa Bauer, president of PEF.
A formal statement from the foundation describes MMiP as an organization that "does possess strong connections to the music community, including potential volunteers who are likely to help support fund-raising for music and access to potential donors."
According to PEF, the music program has grown dramatically, and approximately 400 middle school students will be enrolled in the district in the coming 2011-12 school year. The district currently employs two full-time band directors to meet the musical education needs of those students.
Schneider has told those closely involved in finding permanent funding that although he cannot fully fund the program, he still desires to be a donor.
Bauer calls Schneider a "huge supporter of the community."
Pacifica Education Foundation has committed $19,000 to the program, which will be used for sheet music, instrument maintenance and repair, and summer band director stipends.
The Pacifica School District will assume the funding for two band teachers for fiscal year 2012.
Beyond fiscal year 2012, the foundation will commit to fundraising to close any budget gaps.
The foundation's funding of music programs is anticipated to be a "permanent commitment," said Bauer. "We're in it for the long haul."