Michael Hastings is one of those residents who want to help Burbank
schools cope with financial insecurity. Hastings, a former Burbank
mayor, is organizing a select group of parents, community members and
former students intent on seeing students and teachers prosper.
The group, which numbers about 40, recently attended the inaugural
meeting of the Burbank Priority in Education Foundation, an
organization created to raise additional funds and materials for
classrooms affected by state and local budget cuts.
“If we can help with providing resources for the schools, that
will help to free up more money for staff and maintenance at the
schools,” said Hastings, the foundation chairman.
Conceived nearly two months ago, a joint subcommittee of the City
Council and the board of education created the foundation, which
planned to hand it over to a diverse body of residents.
Foundation members range from those who belong to the Burbank
Parent-Teacher Assn. to businesspeople and even Burbank firefighters,
said school board member Ted Bunch, a subcommittee member.
A board of directors will be formed at the foundation’s next
meeting in either January or February, Hastings said.
In the meantime, the foundation is accepting ideas and donations,
Travis Knowles, a 24-year-old foundation member, said one of the
ideas being considered by the group is to ask local retailers to
collect in-store donations for schools.
Knowles, a Burbank native and graduate of John Burroughs High
School, wants to eventually raise a family, which is why he became
involved in the organization.
“I know that if I wait [to get involved] until I have kids, the
schools won’t be at the level I want them to be,” he said. “I’m
starting now so they’ll be at that level when my kids are old
For more information on the foundation or to suggest ideas, e-mail
Hastings at email@example.com.