Moral Imperative

The Need

Saint Paul currently faces a significant achievement gap between students of color and white students and between students from low-income families and those who are not. Standardized tests show that students of color and low-income students consistently perform lower than their peers. We know that proficiency is a predictor of future personal wealth and well-being. It is a moral imperative for Saint Paul to ensure all students succeed.

Our Response: Succeed Saint Paul

When all students succeed, Saint Paul succeeds.

Saint Paul is a thriving community that hundreds of thousands are proud to call their home. With a rich history and dynamic, diverse present, we have everything to gain for pursuing an even more fruitful future.

This is why Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation has launched Succeed Saint Paul, a campaign to mobilize the community to ensure that every student in Saint Paul Public Schools succeeds, academically and personally. We know that these students are Saint Paul’s future doctors, plumbers, chefs, teachers, news editors, and so much more. With your help, they can get there. There are many ways to contribute. Our 20 Tutoring Partners, who provide students with valuable academic skill building in math and reading, have thousands of opportunities to get involved and volunteer. Our grants fund educators and educational and community organizations to provide innovative projects and programs that help students learn in new and exciting ways; your generous financial contributions can provide those funds. We also partner with organizations across Saint Paul, including the Phillips Eye Institute to provide free eye exams and follow-up care, to provide innovative solutions for student success.

The Economic Case

Education provides benefits not only to individual students, but also to society as a whole. An investment in education is an investment in the future of our job market and our economy. In the past, Minnesota has been recognized for its high-quality education system and its dedication to adequate funding. In fact, Minnesota ranks second in state comparisons for student achievement on standardized tests. However, a closer look at student test scores reveals a significant achievement gap between students of color and Caucasian students and low-income students and those who are not. By allowing those students to slip through the cracks and fall below proficiency, our economy and standard of living will drastically decrease.

Reading and math proficiency are needed for students to compete in a rapidly evolving economy. These skills are also required for the continued functioning of a dynamic and complex democracy. A report from the Morning Foundation illustrates the economic impact of education on our society.

Return on Investment:

  • ROI: $2,250/student for tutoring X 3 yrs = $87,500 ROI over lifetime
  • Benefits to individual: $300K / HS diploma $1M / college degree
  • Benefits to society: $350K / HS diploma $1.6 M /college degree

- An Economic Perspective on the Financial Impact on Society of Educational Attainment, Tom Holman, The Morning Foundation