To this foundation, what matters most is Education

To this foundation, what matters most is Education


Founded in 1985 by educators and parents, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) is the only organization located in the Santa Barbara Country which mission is to fund and develop programs dedicated to supporting education. It benefits over 15,000 students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District, investing in public education as a way to guarantee every member of the community is having access to an innovative education program that is designed to inspire confidence, creativity and competence in every student, no matter the age or cultural background.

Kenny Slaught knows that SBEF, as other foundations in Santa Barbara that support education, is dedicated to promoting and supporting several school district project meant to solve the most pressing issues related to education in the County. It generously funds different programs in the community, such as Community of Schools, Youth Violence, The Academy for Success and the Prevention program.

Projects and programs supported by law

There are different initiatives dedicated to serving the community improving the education system, however, many of these initiatives don’t have access to the necessary funds to be executed. For this reason, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation has proposed and successfully implemented bond measures and tax campaigns meant to provide the required funds to offset funding cutbacks that usually have a negative impact on local schools and education programs.

Some of these measures aim to enhance artistic education, other are dedicated to schools renovation, and there are some that take the important part of marketing the foundation and its needs in order to collect the necessary funds to support every previously studied and proposed education program. Some of these measures are the following:

Measures A and B: In 2008, voters in the Santa Barbara County generously supported measures that were designed to funding students and classrooms locally. These were measures A and B, meant to fund programs related to math, foreign languages, educational technologies, career skills, science, music, art and theater.

The Santa Barbara Education Foundation successfully led a campaign dedicated to collecting funds for Measures A and B in 2012. This campaign helped the foundation collect over $12 million dollars in a 4-year span that were used to benefit more than 15,000 students (over 10,000 on the Measure A programs and 5,000 on the Measure B programs). Students who were favored by these programs were in elementary, junior high, and high school.

Measures Q and R: These Measures were supported by a devoted marketing campaign intended to raise awareness towards the importance of having outstanding education facilities in the Santa Barbara County. Voters agreed to issue $110,000,000 in general obligation bonds to the Santa Barbara secondary and elementary schools. The main goal is to renovate most schools in the County.

Board Members of the SBEF are proud to participate in the Oversight Committees who are in charge of verifying what is being done with the authorized funds.

To this foundation, what matters most is Education
Image courtesy of eddie welker at

Other accomplishments made by the Santa Barbara Education Foundation

Besides leading the marketing campaigns dedicated to inviting voters to support the measures mentioned above, SBEF has supported several education programs that have contributed to the well-being of students within the community. Some of these programs are:

Keep the Beat Project: founded in 2007, this project supports after-school music programs. SBEF has helped to raise awareness and the needed resource to finance the purchase of instruments and the building of spaced dedicated to supporting instrumental music programs. Due to budget cuts, SBEF has supported this program in order to preserve it.

Technology Funding: SBEF in cooperation with the Santa Barbara Unified School District, has implemented a technology plan that aims to equip classrooms with the necessary technological teaching devices so teachers can have more tools at hand to improve the education experience.

Community Programs

SBEF operated as a Fiscal Sponsor for many programs dedicated to serving the Santa Barbara Community. These programs include counseling services for students, tutoring for students at risk, support for children in vulnerable conditions and parenting advice.

The academy for success: This program started in 2008 and aims to provide personal attention to students at risk who have all the necessary elements to improve their results. Students here are offered to be part of an individual or a group therapy that is meant to help them change their destructive behavior. So far, every student who was part of this program has graduated and gone on to college, trade school, or has been employed.

Parent Resource Center: Founded in 2013, this program offers parents the chance to learn more about their children’s learning challenges. Parents are able to learn about behavior issues, learning difficulties and mental health concerns that may help them navigate these concerns and find the best way to handle them. The Parent Resource Center provides parents with written content, as well as videos on a variety of education-related subjects.