BEVERLY HILLS (CBS/AP) — When it comes to raising cash in these tough economic times, the state’s most famous school district is aiming for the stars.

A fundraiser this week for the Beverly Hills Unified School District hopes to raise up to $1 million in order to avoid the deep cuts that have hurt so many other schools in California.

The rich idea is designed to avoid about two dozen layoffs and maintain small class sizes and arts programs in the upscale 4,700-student school district.

Parents and educators started the campaign on Monday.

The school district has four schools that serve kindergarten through eighth grade students and Beverly Hills High School, where graduates include such entertainers as Albert Brooks, Richard Dreyfuss, Rob Reiner, Carrie Fisher and David Schwimmer.

PTA Council co-chairwoman Jennifer Terrell Schwartz tells the Los Angeles Times that organizers hope the fundraiser will keep a great school district great.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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