I noted an article about the formation of a fundraising group to help the school system, Foundation for Tacoma Schools (TNT, 7-23). Its goal is to raise funds help those kids struggling academically.
May I submit that no amount of money in and of itself will solve the problem?
If the teachers are frank and open, I believe you will find that something like 95 percent of the struggling kids come from homes where the parent(s) do little to encourage them or pay any attention to their school work. Usually these children are simply parked in front of a TV rather being read to from books.
Conversely, the same percentage of students doing well come from homes where the child has been read to from the time of birth on and the parent(s) are actively engaged in their scholastic life.
These comments are offered on the basis of my experience as a volunteer in the elementary schoolroom for many years. I watched many a child blossom simply because I devoted several hours a week to him/her alone. That was about all it took to give the child a tremendous boost in ego and self confidence. Usually that was all it took, they were off and running.
My suggestion to the foundation is to solve the problem of the disconnected parent. Then watch the child take off.