Opinion Your Views — 24 January 2013
Opinion: Please don’t ignore the benefits of an educational foundation

To the editor:

Dear school board member Patricia Hennig, I feel it important to inform you that Superintendent Morton Sherman had full support of the former school board when he embarked on establishing the Alexandria City Public Schools nonprofit foundation (“What’s in a name?” January 17). We talked about it many times over the years, and we all supported such an endeavor.

As you will soon see in the coming months, the school funds are spent very quickly on staff salaries and benefits, with very little left over for programs and other basic needs for a system with a free and reduce-priced lunch population of almost 60 percent.

Let’s be honest: The schools would benefit greatly from community contributions. Think about library books; costumes and sets for plays; afterschool programs; instruments for the music and band program; AVID; or other really important elements of the social, emotional and cognitive growth of ACPS’ children that is simply not covered by tax dollars. If you do even a bit of homework, you will also find that a nonprofit foundation is often the hallmark of a thriving school system, one that is flush with business and community support.

Thank you for your service to ACPS, but I think you will find that there is growing support in Alexandria and the community for this type of philanthropy.
- Mimi Carter
Former school board member

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(1) Reader Comment

  1. The school board is a public body and as such according to code § 2.2-3707of the Commonwealth of Virginia the board must record minutes at all public meetings. Which specific minutes of previous board meetings refer to the discussion of this foundation and/or to the unanimous support from the board for this foundation? If this matter were discussed “many times over the years” there should be clear public record of this conversation. The law requires it.

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