January 22, 2018


Who started the Foundation for Santa Barbara High School, and why?

The Foundation for Santa Barbara High School is a non-profit organization formed by parents who saw a significant discrepancy between the needs of the students and the school’s available funding, and were motivated to provide Santa Barbara High School students with the best possible education. (Our original name was the Santa Barbara High School Education Foundation, but it is the same organization.)

How does the Foundation decide what to support?

The Foundation for Santa Barbara High School works closely with the administration of the school to identify funding priorities that address critical needs of the school, have the potential to positively impact a majority of students, and are outside the scope of the school budget. Principal Becchio serves as a permanent member of our board and is actively engaged in this essential dialog.

Aren’t my taxes enough?

Santa Barbara High School receives allocations from the state of California. Our funding is impacted by a historical trend, which has not yet been reversed, of low levels of state spending on education. At SBHS, the average spending per student is around the state average and this only provides for a basic level of education.  With private philanthropy, The Foundation for SBHS ensures that our school can bridge the gap between a basic level of education and a high-quality education.

What about bond issues and parcel taxes?

School bond issues and parcel taxes, if passed by voters, are an outstanding way to raise significant funds for our schools.  These funds are designated for specific uses within the public school system.  For example, Measure Q, which was passed by voters in 2010, provided funds to be spent at SBHS for a new kitchen. The Foundation has also partnered with the District to use Measure Q2010 bond funds for the gym. The Foundation has now raised more than $5 million in funding for the Peabody Stadium Renovation project to complete the project.  (To learn more see the Peabody Stadium Renovation page). Funds that the Foundation raises, however, stay here at SBHS for projects that benefit all SBHS students. When you give to the Foundation, you will know that the projects you are supporting have been identified by SBHS administrators and teachers as top priorities for our campus.

Why is this important to our community?

A first-class public school serves the interests of our entire community.  Not only does it meet the needs of all students, from the highest achieving to those needing additional support, but also it enhances our property values and enriches the culture of our city.  By investing in Santa Barbara High School, we are investing in the future of our youth, as well as in the future of Santa Barbara.

Why do public schools in California need private funding?

Because of ongoing cuts in the state budget for education, there is a growing trend toward providing private funding for public schools.  Thirty years ago, when Proposition 13 was passed, per pupil spending in California ranked among the top 5 states in the nation; today it ranks 23rd. In order for California’s students to receive a quality education, additional funding is needed.

How much should I give?

Please make a commitment to your school and give as much as you can! Large or small, every donation makes a difference, and the Foundation appreciates gifts of all sizes. A high level of participation in the Dons Annual Fund and in our capital fundraising tells our community that our parents and alumni support the school and help us in raising funds from outside sources such as corporations and foundations.

Are my donations tax-deductible?

Yes. The Foundation for Santa Barbara High School is a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.  Tax ID# 26-0312564. (Our former name is the Santa Barbara High School Education Foundation and some of our paperwork is still in transition. Gifts remain tax-deductible with this ID #!)

How can I be sure that my donation will stay at SBHS and not be “eaten up” by the larger district?

The Santa Barbara School District enthusiastically supports the efforts of the Foundation for SBHS and recognizes that the funds raised are earmarked for specific purposes at SBHS only.

Can I get involved as a volunteer?

The Foundation for SBHS welcomes volunteers and there are many ways to get involved, from helping with a fundraising event to providing administrative assistance in the office.  If you have time to give, please call 805-966-9101 x5225 or email info@foundationforsbhs.org.

I still have questions, what should I do?

For more information about the Foundation for SBHS, volunteer opportunities, or how to make a donation, please call 805-966-9101 x5255 or email director@foundationforsbhs.org.