Search   |   en English

My Day as an Honorary GRUMP

By: Sam Schneider, Development Assistant 

Walking into Christ Presbyterian Church for a community forum hosted by Grandparents United for Madison Public Schools (GRUMPS), I felt excited. The room was full of energy as community members prepared for an important discussion regarding a potential Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) 2020 referendum. I was warmly greeted by members of GRUMPS who offered me coffee and cookies for enjoyment. As I made a round of introductions to folks in attendance, one person jokingly stated to me, “Hey, you’re not a grandpa, what’s your role here?” As we shared a moment of laughter, I responded confidently, “As a staff person of the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools, I am committed to advocating on behalf of our public schools”-an integral part of the Foundation’s mission.

At the Foundation, we work to raise awareness of the excellent things occurring in our public schools, as well as the need for ongoing public and private support from the community. Advocacy issues such as referenda directly affect the future of the people we serve, the 27,000 scholars and nearly 5,500 staff in our fifty public schools, and therefore, being present at conversations such as this forum is a must for us.

During the meeting, a panel of MMSD senior leadership effectively communicated details on plans for two potential referenda questions:

Participants responded with genuine enthusiasm, eager to share their thoughts. I was impressed with the astute questions and concerns being raised. At one instance, as I jotted down some ideas, a man tapped my shoulder and kindly asked if I had made note of a fact he thought to be particularly important—it turns out I had. This just happened to be one of the many major talking points referenced at the meeting. Some of these topics and concerns were:

  • How the current state funding model for public education as well voucher and charter programs impact the need for a potential MMSD referendum;
  • How possible referendum funds would allow MMSD to continue and expand upon their positive academic momentum; and
  • How new facilities renovations align with MMSD’s work on racial equity and social justice.

What my time at the GRUMPS forum proved to me, was our community members are thoroughly invested in what a potential referendum could mean for our public schools- one of the pillars to a vibrant Madison community. The support of grandparents involved with GRUMPS is incredible, but it is going to take the entire community coming together to show Madison’s young scholars we are invested in them now and into the future.

The Foundation will continue to gather and share the latest news on potential 2020 referendum questions, so please stay tuned! The Board of Education should decide whether to go to referenda sometime in March-May of 2020.

Here’s what we confidently say NOW: If the Board of Education decides to put referendum questions on the ballot, the Foundation will be ready to work with organizations like GRUMPS and other public school supporters to advocate for a YES vote. We know that Schools Make Madison and anything asked of the community to help our public schools should be met with a resounding yes! We cannot afford to miss any opportunity to ensure that every school in our district is a place where every scholar and staff member can thrive!

Learn more about the Foundation’s advocacy efforts here.

Latest News

Recent News Headline

Alumni: Shana Dall’Osto

Madison West High School class of 1997 alumna Shana Dall’Osto is the executive director of Roots & Wings, a family foundation created in late 2019 with a special interest in funding nonprofits across four key categories: family safety, health, early learning, and basic needs. For Dall’Osto, it’s her dream job. Not only is the family behind Roots & Wings her very own – her mom is Judy Faulkner, founder of the Verona-based, multibillion-dollar health tech software company Epic Systems – but Dall’Osto also has an extensive background in nonprofits, and a passion for service work focused on early childhood.

Kelly Lecker: Teacher Support Network helps buy important school supplies

This post was originally published on on September 8, 2023. The requests aren’t extravagant. Child scissors. Painter’s tape. Pocket folders. Cheez-It crackers. Headphones. But all these things are essential parts of a successful classroom, and buying them can strain a teacher’s budget. That’s where the Teacher Support Network comes in. Last school year, $123,235 Read More

©2019 MPSF All Rights Reserved.