The Berkeley schools benefit immensely from parent, family, and community volunteers that bring their individual talents and personal resources to our schools. The Berkeley Public Education Foundation (BPEF) supports all our schools; see sidebar at left. Other organizations also provide robust support for schools. Here’s information about just a few of them.
Teachers Ask and the Berkeley Public Education Delivers!
Teachers need many helping hands, heads and hearts to do their job and the Berkeley Public Education Foundation (BPEF) offers consistent support. BPEF is poised and ready each fall when some 500 grant applications and volunteer requests pour in from BUSD’s Pre-k to 12th grade teachers. Year in and year out, BPEF supports hard-working educators by funding a variety of classroom projects to improve teaching.
BPEF’s investments in the Berkeley schools, made possible by over 1,100 generous community donors, topped $800,000 last year. As the community stepped up, BPEF stepped in with over 250 grants and 2,000 volunteers sent out to expand horizons, spark innovation, and enrich teaching and learning. BPEF is there with start up funds for new initiatives such as the Lucy Calkins Writers Workshop, now found in every K-5 school. BPEF is often listed as sponsor of a play or field trip, continuing beloved school traditions that might be otherwise lost.
PTAs and Parent Volunteers
Thank you, families and PTAs! We know our parents, grandparents, and other giving adults spend countless hours volunteering in our classrooms, chaperoning and donating for field trips, organizing school-wide events, potlucks, and enriching our school offerings with their generosity and genuine commitment to keeping our public schools strong. In 2010-11, elementary and middle school budgets rely on $432,000 in direct funding from PTAs, and much more comes in the form of classroom supplies for teachers, field trip funding, and more. Teachers and staff of Berkeley Unified are thankful for all the various contributions our families make each day to the success of our schools.
Berkeley High Development Group supports the entire high school
BHSDG’s mission is to support and strengthen the educational experience of all students at Berkeley High. This volunteer organization raises funds and distributes them to teachers, administrators, and students for projects across the school to enrich the high school experience for all students. In the 2009-10 school year, $300,000 was raised to support meaningful work at BHS.
Berkeley Athletic Fund keeps BHS Athletics Strong
Berkeley High School has a rich and robust athletic program that has grown to more than 60 teams in 28 varsity sports. These teams are comprised of about 1,100 student athletes—about a third of all students. BAF provided equipment, donated money to BUSD to cover significant team transportation costs, and supported tutoring services for athletes.
In Dulci Jubilo (IDJ) provides steady support for creativity
In Dulci Jubilo, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to sparking the joy of learning in Berkeley’s young people. Founded in 1978, IDJ has supported BUSD teachers by funding creative teaching and learning projects by awarding $64,000 last year in Berkeley schools, and holding the Annual IDJ Spring Art, Poetry, and Essay Contest.
Two Special Taxes Support Berkeley Schools
The Berkeley Schools Excellence Program (BSEP) funds educational efforts and Measure H (formerly BB) supports maintenance of buildings and grounds.
A community response to school funding shortages in the wake of Prop. 13, BSEP has made a huge difference in the quality of our children’s education since 1986. A 10-year renewal was approved by 79% of Berkeley voters in November 2006. Revenues total about $22 million in 2011-12. The bulk of the money is allocated as follows: Smaller Class Sizes, Expanded Course Offerings, and Middle School Counseling Services (66%). About 30% of the district’s classroom teachers are funded by BSEP. All district library programs and the elementary and middle school music programs are funded by BSEP. Professional Development, Evaluation and Assessment, Parent Outreach and Technology.
While BSEP supports what goes on in schools, support for the school buildings themselves is provided by another special tax, Measure H of 2010 and its predecessor, Measure BB of 2000. Measure H provides funds for maintenance of school district buildings, as well as landscaping and grounds work.