The Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation, Inc. seeks to raise funds and secure donations from individuals and private-sector organizations to support programs and projects not affordable through public funds. Donor support is needed to provide enhanced learning opportunities for students in Milwaukee Public Schools.
The Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) is the 33rd largest school district in the nation and the largest school district in Wisconsin. MPS is a large urban decentralized school district serving about 77,391 students with more than 8,000 educators, administrators and other staff in 150+ locations.
Current MPS demographics reflect the following diversity: 56.6% of the students are African-American; 22.6% Hispanic; 11.9% White; 4.8% Asian; 0.8% Native American; and 3.2% other non-White. There are 202% of students identified with special education needs and 9.5% of students have limited English proficiency. Nearly 81% of the students are eligible free or reduced price lunch, an indicator of the number of children living in poverty. Individually, 40% of the district's schools have free or reduced lunch rates of 90% or more and nearly 70% of all school sites have free/reduced lunch rates of 80% or more.
The Milwaukee Public Schools knows that quality teaching will result in higher student achievement and that educating students means more than instruction. Children learn and achieve more when they are cared for, when they are safe, and when they have a healthy well-being. Therefore, Milwaukee Public Schools values and encourages strong and true partnerships with parents and all those in the community who influence and affect students and families.
The MPS Foundation has thus far received contributions totaling over $2.2 million and awarded grants totaling $1.7 million to MPS schools and programs (as of November 2009). More than 120 MPS schools or programs have received grant funding or benefited from the Foundation's efforts.
How Your Support Will Leave a Legacy
Contributions are greatly appreciated and will be used to directly benefit Milwaukee Public Schools – the students, staff, and programs. Donors may direct gifts to the MPS Foundation to support a variety of ongoing programs and/or specify the gift to help ensure funding long into the future.
Donors may choose to designate a gift to match personal giving preferences. Here are specific ways you can help make a difference for MPS students, staff, and schools:
Donations to the Unrestricted Fund support a variety of projects in Milwaukee Public Schools. The MPS Foundation Board of Directors has set priorities and established primary areas of support for the use of these funds. The following are examples of what the Unrestricted Fund supports:
- Student Assistance Programs – Funds student participation in academic and/or athletic state, regional, or national competitions, youth leadership activities, etc.
- National Board for Professional Teaching Standards – Supports eligible teachers completing this rigorous National Board Certification process
- Teacher Recognition Gala – Helps sponsor the annual teacher recognition gala through the Metropolitan Milwaukee Alliance of Black School Educators
- Excellence in Education Awards – The Milwaukee Board of School Directors recognizes outstanding educators for their display of excellence, achievement, and innovation.
MPS Public Scholars
A new Milwaukee Public Schools Scholarship program was established in 2009 through a generous anonymous donation to the MPS Foundation. The donor provided seed funding to establish the scholarship program as a show of support for public education in Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin. Contributions to this fund are welcome and encouraged to sustain the program over time.
Restricted or Designated Funds
Donors may choose to direct a gift to one or more of the Restricted or Designated Funds established by the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation, Inc. View a current list of the Restricted Funds.
Donors may choose to support the MPS Foundation’s mission and goals long into the future by directing the gift to the Advised Fund. This fund was established at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to ensure long-term growth and sustainability to build a lasting charitable endowment. The MPS Foundation Board of Directors shall be the fund advisors to the Advised Fund recommending distributions periodically to help support the mission and goals of the MPS Foundation.
Private-Sector Organizations or Foundations
Grants from private-sector organizations or foundations may be made to the MPS Foundation, Inc. designated to support a specific school or program.
The MPS Foundation would also like to provide opportunities for planned giving, such as a will or listing the MPS Foundation as a beneficiary of an insurance policy. Contact MPS Foundation staff to discuss Leave a Legacy options.
Gifts of any amount may be designated to support any Milwaukee Public School or program.