Spring is coming to Vermont and with it comes our beloved gardening season! We’ll finalize plans, then sow, transplant, and weed so our gardens can evolve into our visions of what they ought to be. For the McClure Foundation, too, this is the season to review the strengths and weaknesses of past funding cycles and to study current state and national trends in education (the “seed catalogue” we study all winter) so that we can increase the chances of success for our 2013-2014 school year funding efforts.
Removing Barriers: Education in Vermont
Education in our country is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Because charitable giving for education is an important but small percentage of overall education funding, the member organization Grantmakers for Education (GFE) works to find the best roles for philanthropy in education. GFE and its members constantly calibrate and recalibrate philanthropic levers to ask: where can charitable dollars make the best impact?
Fall means “back to school” in Vermont. It’s a time of progress and collaboration on many fronts. One event that you may not be aware of is the annual Vermont Education Summit that convenes educators, administrators, business leaders, nonprofits, and individual philanthropists to share ideas on how best to improve access to postsecondary and career education in the state.
With little doubt, we all desire to help Vermont students reach their full potential and we hope to develop the best possible workforce for our state. And, if we share ideas and support each other, I believe that we — educators, parents, businesspeople, elected and appointed officials, volunteers and philanthropists, alike — can make this a reality.
Foundations working to improve education in the United States focus primarily on urban issues: from the groundbreaking work of Geoffrey Canada in New York to the model West Oakland Education Innovation Zone out west. Some of the best work in improving education and educational opportunities has taken place in high density areas. The McClure Foundation’s work is unique in that it focuses on removing barriers to education in our rural state.