The Shelby County Schools Education Foundation raises money from the private sector to help fill in some of the many major funding gaps from public sources in all the Shelby County Schools. In addition, the Foundation seeks to ensure a steady flow of accurate information about all the school districts in Shelby County to regulatory and funding sources both within and outside Tennessee.
Cash and certain in-kind donations of materials to the Foundation are understood to be deductible from federal taxes but the Foundation caveats all potential donors to check first with their own legal and tax advisers.
The Foundation assists Shelby County Schools in bridging the gap to excellence by providing the necessary funding to pursue targeted programs. Accordingly, these are among the programs the Foundation provides in order to support the district both financially and to help create accurate public perceptions about it:
- Annual Health and Safety Expo
- Community outreach (including the annual Race for Education)
- Grants for arts, music and physical education programs that are either under-funded or not funded at all
- Grants for teaching excellence, particularly relating to technology
- Scholarships to graduates of the district who plan on careers of public service
- Recognition of district graduates who have distinguished themselves in their respective careers and made significant contributions to the public good
- Art contests for high school students
- Lecture series for high school student leaders
- Community-based funding for major programs outside what the state and county funding formula can provide