The following is a statement from Ridgway White, president of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, regarding the signing of a partnership agreement with Flint Community Schools.
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is signing the Flint Community Schools Partnership Agreement because we care about Flint kids. We’ve been a partner to Flint Community Schools over many decades — in good times and in challenging times.
In recent years, we’ve been happy to respond to multiple requests for help from the district. We provided support for technical assistance to help the district work its way out of debt. We covered the cost of new textbooks for all K-12 students for all core subjects. We’re funding a community education initiative in all Flint Community Schools. And our most recent grant will support repairs and improvements to make Southwestern Classical Academy safer and more welcoming for all who learn and work there.
Over the past five years alone, the Mott Foundation has provided more than $54 million in support of Flint Community Schools. This reflects our firm belief in the importance of strengthening the education continuum in our hometown — from cradle to college and career.
We hope the partnership agreement with the state will help Flint chart a course for progress in our public schools that will lead to better outcomes — and brighter futures — for our students. We also hope the state will more directly address the broad challenges that contribute to declining student achievement across Michigan.
We applaud Flint’s Board of Education and interim superintendent for including all Flint Community Schools in the agreement and for engaging the broader community in this important work.
It takes many strong partners pulling together to address complex challenges. The Mott Foundation is proud to be part of the advisory council noted in the agreement, which will work on behalf of all students in Flint Community Schools.