Teacher’s Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

Source: Village Properties

Santa Barbara-area teachers welcoming students back to their classroom this fall will do so buoyed by over $62,000 raised by the local non-profit Teacher’s Fund. 

This year’s annual Back-to-School Drive was especially meaningful – and needed – as teachers bought new tools, learning materials and otherwise equipped their classrooms for students making the transition back to in-person learning. Community members and local businesses eagerly answered the calls for help, driving the donation total beyond the goal of $60,000. 

Donors also sponsored individual teachers’ requests for making their learnings even richer through specialty art, language and math subscriptions; more comfortable, with adjustable work benches and classroom rugs; and adaptable for new indoor-outdoor learning environments. 

“I’m thrilled students are back in the classroom, alongside friends and the rest of the school community where they learn best and have strong in-person support,” said Village Properties Realtor Brianna Johnson and event co-chair, who had the idea for the first drive back in 2019. “And I’m so appreciative to businesses and community members who are helping ensure students have what it takes to help make that transition as successfully as possible.”

Renee Grubb, owner of Village Properties Realtors and founder of the Teacher’s Fund, said the generosity of the community never ceases to amaze her. 

Grubb praised the tireless effort of the full committee: Johnson, Amy Abbott, Sheela Hunt, Angel Speier, Dianne Johnson, Candace Cavaletto, Alyssa Jones, Ivonne Arroyo, and Leanne Wood.

“It’s a team effort, and this team works so hard to make sure as many classrooms as possible get badly needed support,” Grubb said.

All money raised from the fundraiser go directly to local kindergarten through 12th grade teachers to help them buy educational materials that enhance their students’ learning. 

The Teacher’s Fund was created in 2002 by the owners of Village Properties as a way for teachers to request much needed supplies for their classrooms. Since then, the Teacher’s Fund has donated over $1.8 million to Santa Barbara-area schools, with 100 percent of the funds raised given directly to teachers for their classrooms. 

• For more information about Teacher’s Fund visit https://teachersfund.org/ 

• For information about Village Properties visit https://www.villagesite.com/


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  1. With young kids I’m just beginning to see first hand how the public school system has changed since I was a student 25+ years ago. One thing I notice is the seemingly large number of administrative staff. It’s possible I just wasn’t aware of it as a student. But, does anyone know the ratio of administration to educators and whether that’s changed over the years? That would be an interesting statistic. It would be interesting to see how the funding is spent and how much of our tax dollars actually makes it into the classroom?

  2. The CA Teachers Unions has made $280 MILLION in political contributions over the past 25 years. All of that money came out of the paychecks of dues paying members, which were paid with taxpayer money by the State of CA. How can people think this incestuous relationship is okay? Hundreds of millions of taxpayer money earmarked of educating children funnel back into political campaigns. https://www.followthemoney.org/entity-details?eid=20205.

  3. Visit the county courthouse law library on the second floor. You will see volumes upon volumes of the California Ed Code, which also grew tremendously in the past 25 years too. That is why districts now need so many “administrators” to ensure every single Ed Code requirement is fulfilled. Or else the district finds itself on the wrong side of an school employee union legal action. This is what your hard working “education” state legislators have been doing for the past 20 years too – writing more and more Ed Code regulations. All of which not only protect the teachers and staff, but the full employment of school administrators tasked with carrying them out.

  4. The military goes not get an automatic 50% of all general fund revenues like schools do in California under the Prop 98 guarantee. Which does not even include all the school bond issues and parcel taxes that show up on your property tax bill every year. With this much money, why do our California schools continue to do so poorly – always near the bottom 10% nation wide?

  5. Too me a long time to realize an “education” candidate in fact was going simply be a front for the teachers unions. Never understood why every year they kept complaining they were not getting enough money and every year test scores kept going down. And every year we kept passing school bond issues and parcel taxes to supplement this “underfunded” education system. Transparent California listing the entire cost of each school employe to the taxpayers was an eye opener as well as the constant demands for more parcel taxes and school bond issues. That is when I started digging into the facts; not the endless string of PR campaigns also funded by the teachers unions. This is a shame because teaching used to be well-regarded and there was always good support for public education. Witness Prop 98 which passed very shortly after Prop 13 – California voters enthusiastically supported a guarantee of 50% of all general fund revenues to go to nothing other than public education. We cared and we made sure schools got the money off the top. Then for the past 20 years it has been nothing but this relentless campaign schools are under-funded, teachers are under-paid, under-appreciated and their morale is bad. Only more money can fix this they claim every year. Something has gone very, very wrong in California public education. It is well beyond time we get out of the public education swamp and teacher union funded misinformation campaign. For the good of our kids and our state. We simply cannot keep doing more of the same with these consistently poor outcomes. 50% of state revenues and bottom ranked student outcomes. Time for serious change. Start with local school board membership and no more teacher-union backed state school superintendents. Both have to happen.

  6. Can’t disagree with the majority opinion here, our schools have a lot of money coming in and it’s getting sucked up by administrators and pensions. It’s become its own industry. You think teachers aren’t well-paid? Think again. Look it up. Our neighbor is always mentioning how her daughter, a former teacher and principal, now up moved an admin of some sort (title? who knows right?) now is making “the big bucks”. Yay. And screwing us all, especially our kids.
    The teacher’s unions have done great for the teachers and themselves, unfortunately at the expense of the quality of our education system. And they’ve done a great job at making a lot of folks think teachers are underpaid and overworked. Most people truly believe that.
    Look, the average teacher is doing their best and I completely support public education. But the system is broken and needs to be fixed.

  7. Calif State University (CSU) system does most of the teacher training in this state. Peer review journal a few year ago found all California state teacher training programs to be unsatisfactory for both elementary and secondary teacher training. Only the private college Redlands got acceptable teacher training marks. This is something our “education” legislators should have fixed by now as this finding sent shock waves through the education establishment. Don’t know what the peer rankings are today (EdSource?) but worth investigating. If our CSU teacher training remains so poor, no wonder nothing helps students in the classrooms no matter how much more money we throw at this very sad system. Institute the reforms set out in the Vegara vs LAUSD trial court victory also a few years back — until the teachers unions got that case over-turned on appeal for a technicality. The list of necessary reforms to public education in this state can be found in this trial court ruling. Let’s use this as check list and try to get as many of them as possible – this is in the hands of state senator Monique Limon and Assemblyman Michael Bennett: reform CSU teacher training and implement the K-12 reforms set out in Vegara vs LAUSD.

  8. Prop 98 guarantees the lions share of general fund revenues for public education – 50% of all those tax dollars right off the top, goes directly to schools. Their track record and stewardship of those Prop 98 guaranteed funds has been abysmal. It sends the wrong message that schools are “underfunded” when these private donation efforts are highlighted. Just the opposite – public education is the most generously funded state operations we have. It is just horribly mismanaged, and should not benefit from misguided sympathies or supplemental funding efforts.

  9. Monique Limon? Are you listening?? She’s more likely to further degrade the system by advocating for dual language and free food handouts for everyone. There’s only so much money to go around, and GUSD for one has turned into a food service operation as its primary focus. Forget basic reading, writing, math, science, etc. Let’s just make sure we produce lots of free meals abs support a bloated food service staff. It’s true.

  10. Pitmix, if your claim poor K-12 performance is solely due to “unequal economic status”, we obviously then need to overturn Prop 98 and reallocate 50% of our general tax revenues for “income redistribution” in order to rebalance this, instead of pouring it down this current rat hole called public education where it is wasted. However, you fundamentally err, good education can fix income inequality, It always has in the past and take it out of the clutches of the regressive teachers unions and it can again. That “study” is just one more excuse to cover over teacher union failure. Too many examples undermine the point you are trying to make. Including the many proven charter schools in low income areas.

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