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Foundation formed to support San Luis Coastal schools in wake of Diablo Canyon closure

Posted at 12:05 PM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 15:05:55-04

Community leaders have formed a new education foundation to support the San Luis Coastal Unified School District (SLCUSD).

The San Luis Coastal Education Foundation will reportedly receive $10 million of the $85 million Diablo Canyon Closure Community Impact Mitigation funds from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

In a press release issued Monday, President of the Foundation Board of Directors Sam Blakeslee, said, “This Foundation was launched in recognition of the growing opportunities and challenges ahead for our students and teachers. The loss of funding from the closure of the Diablo Canyon facility and shortcomings in state funding will put significant pressure on our local schools. Our community is stepping up and declaring our shared commitment to invest in the next generation of civic leaders, inventors, creatives and entrepreneurs.”

PG&E plans to shut down the nuclear power plant near Avila Beach by 2025. The facility generates nearly $1 billion a year for the local economy.

The Foundation will reportedly work with the school district and the school board to come up with programs that “accelerate innovation, student achievement and opportunity” and raise money to support those programs. The $10 million in mitigation funds, which will be received over five years, will be used to build an initial endowment to support the Foundation.

“Advancements in technology, programming and partnerships offer students personalized learning experiences and advantages their parents never had,” said Eric Prater, Superintendent of San Luis Coastal Unified School District. “This new foundation is an important part of our district’s strategy to be on the cutting edge of innovative educational strategies that equip our students with the academic, creative and social-emotional skills they need to successfully compete in the new global economy.”

Christine Robertson has been hired to lead the Foundation as Executive Director. She is a former high school teacher, Chief of Staff in the California State Senate and Assembly, and co-founder of the Institute for Advanced Technology & Public Policy at Cal Poly.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors is made up of parents, SLCUSD employees, business owners, and community leaders.

Board of Directors: (top row l-r) Steve Jobst, David Mitchell, Kevin Bumen, Matthew Woods, Kimberly McGrath, Melissa James, Eric Prater, Rick Robinett, Ryan Pinkerton, Anika Clements, Dave Bernhardt, Rick Mayfield, Alan Iftiniuk
(bottom row l-r) Rosanna Medeiros, Stacey White, Erica Flores Baltodano, Sam Blakeslee, Ron Holcombe, Kelli Cole, Bill Thoma, Kathryn Eisendrath-Rogers, Carol Hillygus-Irving
(not pictured) Molly Hughes, Jim Quesenberry, Elise St. John (Photo courtesy San Luis Coastal Education Foundation)