Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms title=
Members of the Teacher’s Fund organizing committee (from left to right): Sheela Hunt, Leanne Wood, Ivonne Arroyo, Renee Grubb, Brianna Johnson, Dianne Johnson, Candace Cavaletto, Alyssa Jones, Angel Speier. Not pictured: Amy Abbott. (Source: Village Properties)
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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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lovesbalot Sep 30, 2021 04:38 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

The findings of the National Reading Panel in 2000 recommended the scientific approach using the science of reading not balanced literacy, as have thousands of studies by researchers from multiple disciplines since then. Poverty does not help because many our most vulnerable students do not of the means to pay for tutors, like our english language learners, foster youth and those with learning differences. The current approach used in SBUSD is balanced literacy. It's own author admitted in 2020 that it does not work for english language learners or students with differences. Until our leaders change their culture around reading nothing will change. Test scores have been painfully low for our most vulnerable students for decades. Scores have been stagnant. Many students get too little help way too late. That is why so many can't read by end of third. Google it... and you will find it to be true. Emily Hanford an investigative reporter has done a great series on it. It leads to the school to prison pipeline. 70 percent of inmates are functionally illiterate. If you can't read by end of third your 4x more likely to drop out.

Byzantium Sep 30, 2021 01:02 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

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.

MarcelK Sep 30, 2021 02:11 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

Other expert reasoning from this source: "Swimming pools are full of artificially-produced chemicals. Fossil fuels are made from nature, going back into nature. So no, tanker spills are not more toxic than swimming pool water."

Basicinfo805 Sep 29, 2021 01:55 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

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.

PitMix Sep 30, 2021 09:08 AM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

See comment about the main factor in educational quality being income inequality below.

Byzantium Sep 28, 2021 08:47 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

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.

Basicinfo805 Sep 28, 2021 08:29 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

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.

SBTownie Sep 30, 2021 02:47 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

I agree. Start times are insane. I remember stumbling through consciousness for so much of school. In high school I slept through most of chorus every day. I think school started at 7:50.

Transparent Sep 28, 2021 04:31 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

The district's budget is ~$176,000,000. So, sixty-thousand dollars as a fraction of that is 0.00034. If you care about education, kids, and the real issues surrounding how well we are (not) doing, please keep stories like this in proper perspective.

lovesbalot Sep 28, 2021 04:20 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

I agree with Byzantium and Oops. Certainly the district has gotten plenty of funding and choose to spend 40 million on a football field with 500 less seats or 26.5 million on a lead ridden Armory that sits ideal as over half of our students are not reading at grade level. When you look at our most vulnerable students, english language learners, students with differences, students with socioeconomic hardship, which is the majority as SB has the 2nd highest poverty rate. Some students like 4th graders at Adelante only 19 % are proficient. Look at la Cuesta which is juniors and senior only 8% proficiency for literacy and only 2% for math. What we need is to change the culture around literacy by using the science of literacy and not the current approach which does not work for vulnerable students as it's own author admits. How many more students and families will experience painfully low test scores and too little intervention way too late. Look at what parents are doing in Minneapolis just this week. They are protesting the ineffective teaching of reading. When will Santa Barbara do automatic testing and use the science of reading. So much is spent on publishers who use outdated material. Students whose parents do not have means fall through the cracks and go from the education system to the juvenile justice system. All you need to do is look at the dismal data, Only 2% of english language learners graduate with a diploma that allows them to apply to a UC. Same sad story for those with learning differences,,, only 6% of them get to finish the A-g's and apply to a 4 year UC. The system will not change as it inherently protects itself with it's army of lawyers who force many parents of means into non disclosure agreements to get services that they should have gotten by law in their "free and appropriate" education. 2% of english language learners get to apply to 4 year college. This is the system failing our vulnerable students and violating the human right to literacy. Look at Minneapolis.. that should be our community demanding more... By the way I sent it to the board but doubt if they read it or respond. This is worth the read..https://www.the74million.org/article/a-new-kind-of-curriculum-night-armed-with-protest-signs-and-data-diverse-group-of-minneapolis-parents-demands-better-reading-instruction-for-their-kids/?fbclid=IwAR1cXkTXVdQJOxgrd2Hn2qNHfEDxQYVcMl0pOkWfGf4dzLA-WRV4rfnbeOY

Ahchooo Sep 28, 2021 07:53 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

We really do have lots of data from many countries, with many “types” of students, showing which teaching methods work. We should use the effective methods, not the ones that sound like they ought to be good. From what I’ve read (and I do love to read) “the science of reading” truly is the way to go. If our schools aren’t using that, why not?

Voice of Reason Sep 28, 2021 02:16 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

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.

MarcelK Sep 30, 2021 02:51 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

"All of that money came out of the paychecks of dues paying members, which were paid with taxpayer money by the State of CA. " -- this is the sort of bad faith argumentation I refer to.

Byzantium Sep 28, 2021 02:37 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

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.

bosco Sep 28, 2021 01:52 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

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?

letmego Sep 29, 2021 10:49 AM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

This is the truth right there. For every new state or Federal requirement/ rule/ law, you add administrative staff. When you think about how to coordinate each requirement across 10-13 elementary schools...boy

Byzantium Sep 28, 2021 02:23 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

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.

PitMix Sep 28, 2021 11:33 AM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

Reminds me of that old bumper sticker- It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need, and our air force has to have a bake-sale to buy a bomber. Attributed to Robert Fulghum

PitMix Sep 29, 2021 08:32 AM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

Byz, read this and maybe the problem will become clearer to you. The overall poor performance of our schools is related to socioeconomic status and inequality in our society. Schools can't fix that. Rich kid test results are comparable to the best systems in Europe.


Byzantium Sep 28, 2021 02:25 PM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

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?

Byzantium Sep 28, 2021 09:55 AM
Teacher's Fund Raises Money for Local Classrooms

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.

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