The Berkeley Public Schools Fund is the largest source of outside funding to directly reach teachers and programs in every Berkeley public school, from Pre-K through 12th grade. Our mission is to inspire and empower an extraordinary public education for every child. The Schools Fund invests directly in teachers’ ideas and creativity with Classroom Grants, Strategic Impact Grants and Teacher Summer Fellowships.
Every year, the Schools Fund awards over half of the teachers in the District grants, serving 10,000 students and 19 schools. Coupled with our Berkeley Schools Volunteer program, the Schools Fund annually contributes $1.5 million in grants and in-kind donations to Berkeley schools.
The Berkeley Public Schools Fund (then Berkeley Public Education Foundation) was established in 1983, when Proposition 13 tax restructuring began impacting public schools. A group of Berkeley parents and community leaders, frustrated by the diminishing resources for public school classrooms, created the Berkeley Public Education Foundation. The Schools Fund began with funding Classroom Grants in 1984, and less than ten years later created Berkeley Schools Volunteers. Over the years our grant options for teachers have expanded with Summer Teacher Fellowships, Strategic Impact Grants and in 2014, we created a crowdfunding site for teachers, Friends & Family Grants. Founding Board member, Mary Friedman, discusses the founding of the Schools Fund here.
Today, Berkeley public school teachers and students continue to benefit from our vision and commitment to providing an annual source of funding for educators to enrich their classrooms and expand their students’ opportunities for learning.
The Schools Fund will always aim to go beyond what public resources can provide.