Cleveland Foundation Announces a $200,000 Grant to Support Cleveland Schools Levy Campaign

CLEVELAND – The board of directors of the Cleveland Foundation has authorized a $200,000 grant to Citizens for Our Children’s Future, the committee leading the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s levy campaign.

The Cleveland Foundation was among the partners in the development of Mayor Frank Jackson’s Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools and the corresponding state legislation, which was signed into law in July. The plan’s overarching goal is to triple the number of Cleveland public school students enrolled in high-performing and charter schools within six years.

Cleveland residents will vote Nov. 6 on a 15-mill, four-year levy that, if passed, will fund this plan to transform the Cleveland public schools and eligible charter schools.

“The Cleveland Foundation’s focus on the Cleveland schools is rooted in the belief that our city’s success is linked to the strength of its schools,” said Robert Eckardt, executive vice president for the Cleveland Foundation. “Our grant to the campaign reflects our belief that passage of the levy is an essential element in providing financial stability to the district and jump-starting key elements of the Cleveland Plan.”

Public school reform has been a priority for the Cleveland Foundation since 2006, with one of the key strategies being the creation of 12 new and innovative schools. Among the innovative schools the foundation has helped the district develop are the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine, MC² STEM High School, and Campus International School.

“We’re supporting the levy because we truly believe this is the right plan at the right time,” said Helen Williams, program director for education for the Cleveland Foundation. “The district is making significant progress in key areas such as raising graduation rates and increasing the number of students heading to college. We feel the mayor’s plan will significantly accelerate that progress and will level the quality education ‘playing field’ so Cleveland’s students can better compete with their peers in the suburbs and with students across the country and around the world.”

“I want to thank the Cleveland Foundation for being an important partner in the development of the transformation plan and in our levy effort. This grant will help us inform our citizens of the need to continue the progress in our schools and secure the future of Cleveland,” said Mayor Frank Jackson.

The Cleveland Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and, as such, is able to provide a limited amount of financial support and staff time for public advocacy.

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Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation  is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $1.8 billion and 2011 grants of $80 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – economic  transformation, public-school improvement, youth development, neighborhood revitalization, and arts advancement – and responds to the community’s needs.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, please visit ClevelandFoundation.org.

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