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Rodeo Drive Unwraps Early Christmas Gift for Schools

November 20, 1986

Rodeo Drive merchants will open Sunday afternoon for holiday shopping and will donate 10% of the day's proceeds to Beverly Hills' financially troubled schools, spokesmen told the City Council Tuesday.

Singers and a marching band from Beverly Hills High School will provide entertainment, and poster art by grade school students will be on display.

Immediately after the announcement, Councilman Max Salter donated $11,918.29, the remainder of his campaign fund, to the Beverly Hills Education Foundation, saying, "The one thing we want to do is preserve the quality of our schools."

The foundation raised $135,000 at a Day in the Park carnival Oct. 14. It hopes to raise $750,000 to help the Beverly Hills Unified School District overcome financial restrictions resulting from Proposition 13 and court decisions that have limited the community's ability to raise taxes.

Despite increased support from the City Council, the district may have a shortfall of nearly $4 million in the 1987-88 school year, according to a statement issued by the foundation.

"We're no longer talking about enhancing the quality of education," the statement said. "Now (the foundation's) mission is simply to raise the funds needed to maintain the quality we've all grown accustomed to and demanded over the years."

The school board has voted to ask residents to approve a $270 parcel tax on each piece of property in the city next year, one of the few avenues available for increasing funding.

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