May 4, 2010 2:38 PM
There's nothing more important to the health of our city than the quality of our public schools. We all know about the strain our schools are under caused by the limits of the property tax and the deep flaws in the state school aid program. Enter the private sector and the community at large.
I just got back from the Foundation for Madison Public Schools' Circle of Friends lunch. The foundation, celebrating its tenth anniversary, raises money for things that the schools otherwise couldn't afford. In the last decade, the foundation has contributed a half million dollars to improve our schools. Just as important, it builds bonds of caring and understanding between community leaders and our schools. The foundation's popular "Principal for a Day" program gives community leaders the chance to spend a morning in the shoes of a Madison public school principal. I do it every year, this past year at Toki Middle School. Through programs like this, the foundation turns leaders from business, nonprofits and government into strong advocates for our schools.
This year at the annual lunch, the foundation honored an MPS grad, First Lady Jessica Doyle. There's no one who has done more for public education than this life-long educator (it turns out that she was also a West High classmate of my brother-in-law…they both turned out pretty darn well).
There's a lot to be proud of in our community, but there are few things that make me more grateful than the work of the Foundation for Madison's Public Schools. To learn more or to make a contribution, visit their website at http://www.fmps.org/.