A message from the Bright Futures Joplin Board of Directors

Several weeks ago, Bright Futures Joplin requested that the Board of Education agree to extend the funding of two salaried positions to continue the important work of coordinating volunteers and serving students for the 2016/2017 school year. This request was not to take away from any tax-payer revenues, but rather would have come from the Bright Futures Joplin designated activity fund remaining in the district that cannot be spent for any other purpose than to fulfill the mission of Bright Futures Joplin as per donor intent. These positions have been funded through that account since the inception of Bright Futures with the full support of the Board of Education, the Bright Futures Board, and the donors that gave, so this was not a request that would have been out of the ordinary. It would have allowed BFJ additional time to become self-sufficient with external funds, as it has always been BFJ’s goal to never take away tax-payer revenues from the important work of education – but rather for this effort to supplement and support that work. We felt this was a very reasonable request, but last night the Joplin Schools Board of Education voted to decline to fund the positions from the BFJ activity account.

We want to be very clear – we are moving forward with our mission and will raise the money necessary to continue helping Joplin students. We know we have the support of the Joplin community. We had five wonderful people speak on our behalf last night, and could have had many more. Just today, we have received a host of calls, emails, and text messages from Joplin Schools administrators and staff concerned that they will no longer have access to these vital supports for kids, and we are here to say that this need not be a concern. Bright Futures Joplin will continue its work! We are thrilled that we have the opportunity to become completely self-sufficient and are committed to working in alignment with District leadership to best serve the needs of Joplin Schools staff and students. Our mission is simple, clear, and devoid of any other motivation than to ensure that our kids are successful in school and in life.

We look forward to meeting with many of you to discuss our plans and appreciate the many dedicated partners who help us in this work. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and your encouragement. And thank you to the thousands of volunteers and donors who have helped Bright Futures Joplin over the last six years. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for our great organization! The best is certainly yet to come!