Our Who, What, Why
WHO are we?
The Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2004 to partner with Bradley County and Cleveland City Schools to raise community awareness of the importance of great public education, to gain financial support and, ultimately, to 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 is governed by an Executive Committee to ensure it meets its established purpose and the legal requirements of its Charter and Bylaws. The members represent the community broadly and have significant interest in public education. An Executive Director and dedicated staff are responsible for the daily operation of the organization.
The WHAT and WHY...
There is no better foundation for a prosperous, safe and healthy community than a great public education system. Therefore, The Foundation’s VISION is to be a leader in supporting innovative public education by providing for classroom resources and programming needs without limit and promoting teaching excellence through its support of targeted professional development, both producing measurable academic success for all students.
BCPEF 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 should be appropriately thanked and recognized for their contributions.
Average spending per pupil
The sense of urgency to accomplish the results of its vision is all-encompassing for the Trustees of BCPEF. According to the Tennessee Department of Education 2016-2017 Report Card, the average national per pupil spending is $12,252 while Tennessee’s average is $9,958. Locally, public financial support for education is behind state and/or national levels. Per pupil spending for Cleveland City Schools is $9,669 and for Bradley County Schools is $8,587; therefore, the struggle to provide materials, compete and pay for quality teachers and maintain school buildings is ongoing.
In spite of this struggle, innovative approaches to address all academic scores, student graduation rates and workforce preparation have been implemented at every level in these two K-12 school systems. STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) laboratories, Cambridge International Curriculum, LEADERS for Life, “small learning communities,” and AP Course initiatives are some of the programs impacting learning and teaching and, ultimately, the future of our students and community.
...and the "HOW"
Funding these initiatives is critical but impossible through normal channels. Therefore, Bradley/Cleveland Public Education Foundation provides support by encouraging private investment in our local public classrooms. 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.
BCPEF funds innovative academics and targeted professional development through individual and team teacher grants, through major grants and support of specific projects and programs which align with school improvement plans and school system objectives. Working together with teachers and administrators, BCPEF ensures the contributions from generous donors are accomplishing the purposes for which they are intended. Donors are appropriately thanked and kept appraised of the impact of their investments.
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 may be available in situations of significant support.