Saturday, October 20, 2007

School District raises $9.3 million in philanthropy

An amazing campaign recently hit an important milestone... though I am saddened that the school district must make such an enormous effort to raise funds, it is truly an honor to post this wonderful announcement here on this blog. Perhaps one day our country will make adequate and effective investments in the school system so that our public schools do not have to rely on charity to achieve their mission?

Thanks to the Dallas Morning News' Robert Miller for his coverage of this event.

DISD campaign raises $9.3 million
12:00 AM CDT on Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dallas community leaders have rallied around a plan to achieve academic excellence in the Dallas Independent School District with a passion and sense of unity rarely seen in the city's history.

The campaign is announcing $1 million gifts today from the Harold Simmons Foundation, W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas and Texas Instruments Foundation, bringing the total to $9.3 million.

"The Road to Broad" is being pushed by Dallas Achieves Commission as a candidate to win the nationally coveted Broad Prize for Urban Education by 2010.

J. McDonald "Don" Williams, a retired managing director of Trammell Crow Co. and co-chairman of Dallas Achieves Commission along with Pettis Norman and Arcilia Acosta, explained the background of Dallas Achieves.

The commission was organized by Superintendent Michael Hinojosa to support the goal of making the district one of the country's top-performing urban school districts within five years, with every graduate college- and workforce-ready.

It is a collaboration of the Foundation for Community Empowerment with the co-sponsorship of DISD, Texas Instruments and the National Center for Educational Accountability.

"I believe public school transformation is the most important task for the future of our democratic society, as well as our workforce," Mr. Williams said. "And I now know that it is doable.

"DISD is overwhelmingly poor and ethnic minorities, about 160,000 kids, [but] demographics need not be destiny.

"We plan to raise $20 million locally to leverage national funders to join us. Also, over time we must provide a much more robust and expansive early childhood set of programs for low-income children so they can arrive at school either already reading or ready to read.

"We have a long way to go here in Dallas, [but] this transformation is possible."

Other major donors include:

• $450,000 to $1 million – Hoblitzelle Foundation, The Roger and Rosemary Enrico Foundation, Sally and Lee Posey and Ellen and J. McDonald Williams.

• $300,000 to $450,000 – Lisa Blue and Fred Baron, Nancy and Randy Best, Deedie Potter and Edward W. Rose and Gay and William T. Solomon.

• $150,000 to $300,000 – Belo Corp., Dallas Citizens Council, Molly and Gregg L. Engles, Linda W. Hart and Milledge A. Hart III, Hawn Foundation, H-E-B/Central Market; Susan and Larry Hirsch, Naomi D. Aberly and Laurence H. Lebowitz, Joy and Ronald Mankoff, The Eugene McDermott Foundation, Ellen and John McStay, Alice and Erle Nye and The Rosewood Foundation.

• $25,000 to $150,000 – American Airlines Inc., Austin Industries Inc., Nell and Henry C. Beck Jr., ChildCareGroup, The Constantin Foundation, Trammell S. Crow, The Dallas Foundation, Esping Family Foundation, Marguerite Steed Hoffman, The Lightner Sams Foundation Inc., Bobby B. Lyle, Ivette and Pettis Norman, The Vin & Caren Prothro Foundation, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Peggy and Carl Sewell, Phyllis and Ron Steinhart, Tenet Healthcare Corp., Todd Wagner Foundation, Washington Mutual Bank, Abby and Todd Williams and an anonymous donor.