What’s in the Numbers?

Bradley Cleveland Public Education Foundation

Did you notice the rolling numbers as you opened our website? Did you realize that since 2004, BCPEF has raised 4.6 million dollars from private donors investing in innovative and strategically targeted programs and projects in the 2 local public school systems?  Why does BCPEF provide financial support for the Bradley County and Cleveland City Schools, you might ask? Let’s examine some other numbers…

According to 2019-20 Tennessee Department of Education data, educational funding in Tennessee provides an average of $9,989 per pupil per year–Bradley County Schools receiving $8,614 per pupil and Cleveland City Schools receiving $9,718, the difference due to local tax structure. In contrast, the average support per pupil nationally is $12,612 according to the US Department of Education, 2018.

Although, the state and local funding might seem reasonable to educate a student, examining this more closely shows the per pupil funding covering a multitude of expenses.  These expenses include the cost of school buildings (maintenance, grounds keeping, utilities and insurance), buses and transportation costs, curriculum needs (books, materials/supplies), technology (purchase and maintenance, operating expenses), and teachers and staff (salaries, benefits professional development). 

Both the State of Tennessee and our two local governments value and are highly supportive of public education; however, allocated dollars are stretched.  The private support, therefore, enhances innovative and creative programs and projects that build, strengthen and propel learning to a level that truly prepares students for a bright future. Funding these initiatives is critical as innovative approaches address academic needs.   System strategic plans, School Improvement Plans, Comprehensive School Plans and/or Tennessee Curriculum Standards provide structure and direction for the innovative initiatives and ultimately provide a measurement of impact. 

To address these needs, 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 also supported through National Board Certification (NBPTS), FUND for TEACHERS, and Leadership Fellowships. 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. 

It is the mission of this 501(c)(3) entity to raise community awareness, gain financial support and enhance teaching and learning. To do so, BCPEF supports innovative public education and provides for classroom resources and programming needs, supports teaching excellence through targeted professional development, and champions measurable academic success for all students. If you would like to join us and invest in our local schools, please go to our ‘Donors and Giving’ page of this website or contact us by phone or email.