Bradley Cleveland Public Education Foundation
The Case for Support of BCPEF: The WHO, WHAT and WHY
The Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2003 to partner with Bradley County and Cleveland City Schools to raise community awareness, gain financial support and enhance teaching and learning. This partnership supports classroom instruction in 26 schools for over 15,000 students by providing funds for supplemental academic programs and materials not covered in regular school budgets.
The Foundation’s VISION is to be a leader in supporting innovative public education providing for classroom resources and programming needs without limit, supporting teaching excellence through advancing professional development with measurable academic success for all students. Its mission and vision are based on BELIEFS that
- An educated public is foundational to a healthy, productive society;
- Every child has the right to be educated to his/her highest level of ability in an environment that fully strengthens the educational process;
- The local school systems should be financially supported to the extent that they may focus exclusively on the educational process;
- Private financial support should enhance public support of education; and
- Private donors to the educational process shouldbe appropriately thanked and recognized for their contributions.
The Need to Act Quickly
The sense of urgency to accomplish the results of its vision is all-encompassing for the Trustees of BCPEF. Historically, Tennessee has struggled to compete academically against national standards for education. Locally, public financial support for education has lagged dramatically behind state and national levels. Bradley County School System ranks 115th and Cleveland City School System ranks 42st of the 135 Districts in the State of Tennessee. The struggle to provide materials, compete and pay for quality teachers and maintain school buildings is constant.
Student scores in math and reading, although higher than the State of Tennessee average, are low when compared on a national scale. Creative approaches to address all academic scores, student graduation rates, and workforce preparation have been implemented at every level in these two K—12 systems. STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) laboratories, Cambridge International Curriculum, LEADERS for Life, and “small learning communities” initiatives are some of the programs impacting learning and teaching and, ultimately, the future of our students and community.
BCPEF Support for Students and Teachers
Funding these initiatives is critical but impossible through normal channels. Therefore, Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation provides support through annual Individual and TEAM Teacher Grants and school or system-wide projects. Professional development for teachers is supported through National Board Certification (NBPTS) and the FUND for TEACHERS. Individual, corporate, public and private foundation gifts are directed toward programs which match the donor’s interest or intent. Gifts are received in the form of cash, stock, insurance instruments, bequests or multi-year pledges or grants. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, all gifts to BCPEF are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Donor recognition is individualized based on the donor’s preferences. Generally gifts are recognized on the BCPEF website, school system’s websites, through newspaper publicity, specific events and an annual celebration luncheon. Naming opportunities are available in situations of significant support.
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees and an Executive Committee to ensure it meets its established purpose and the legal requirements of its Charter and Bylaws. The Trustees represent the community broadly and have significant interest in public education. An Executive Director oversees the daily operation of the organization.