The Importance of Public School Educational Foundations

I grew up in West Virginia and was educated in public schools. My wife has taught for over 25 years in public schools in various states. Prior to her retirement, she taught elementary school in Indiana. Because I spent hours helping her on weekends in the classroom, I wanted to help public education more broadly, so I decided to serve as President and Board Member. of the Lawrence Township Education Foundation in Indianapolis.

I recently attended a Lawrence Township Schools Founders Luncheon. Each year, all past presidents of the foundation are invited to meet with the Superintendent of Schools and receive an update on public education in the township and the state of Indiana.

Is education in public schools in the United States important and meaningful? Fast facts regarding back-to-school statistics prepared by the Center for Education Statistics (NCES) noted that as of fall 2020, more than 49 million students were attending public schools. According to projections, about 3.3 million students would have graduated from public high school in the 2018-2019 school year. This figure represents a major constituency in this country that relies on public education.

There is compelling evidence of a causal relationship between increased school spending and student outcomes, Kirabo Jacksoneconomic literature. This finding indicates that money matters in public education. Unfortunately, because there are varying levels of income across the United States, funding for education suffers from inequities, where some communities have too much funding while other communities do not have enough funding. audience for education.

As funding issues continue to plague public schools, public education foundations are supporting their local school districts by generating private financial support that helps support new initiatives to complement public funding. Public education foundations secure time, talents, and treasures that provide administration, teachers, and students with a wider range of educational opportunities.

Examples of such initiatives in Indiana, according to the Indiana Association of Public Education Foundationsinclude classroom and teacher grants, student scholarships, literacy mentorship, summer science camps, backpack program support, robotics, science and writing classes creative, computer services and homework after school clubs.

In addition to raising private funds, the association of school principals notes that public school foundations serve as an advocate for public education and school improvement, provide positive public relations for their schools, serve as a public communications vehicle for the school districts they represent, help build bridges between schools and the public and provide speakers’ bureaus that cater to various community groups. Public school foundation board members strive to build relationships with community leaders.

The members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors engage with foundations, companies, associations, organizations and individuals. Foundations also help recruit staff and honor teachers. The most important relationship of a public school foundation is between the school district and the members of the foundation board. Foundation board members should come from a range of backgrounds, including alumni, parents, friends, and people outside the school system.

The Michigan School Boards Association listed six reasons why a school district should have a foundation:

  1. It is a positive public relations tool.
  2. It links communities to school systems.
  3. It builds a new audience of ambassadors.
  4. It builds bridges with interested constituencies.
  5. It establishes new vehicles for raising private funds.
  6. It offers a new means of making the voice of citizens heard.

the Center for American Progress underlined by a large body of research, that money matters in education. When school districts have money and spend it wisely, students achieve better results, including higher test scores, higher graduation rates, and other indicators of student achievement.

There are more than 3,000 public school foundations in the United States. These foundations seek to improve funding for public education in addition to traditional government funding. I am proud to have served in a role to help a public education foundation. I encourage those who care about the future of public education in the United States to do the same.

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