Education Foundation Presents $1.7M Grant to HPISD

The Highland Park Education Foundation presented a $1.7 million check – its largest-ever grant solely for districtwide teacher and staff salaries – to the Highland Park ISD trustees at the June 20 meeting.

Last summer, HPEF committed these funds that would comprise 1% of a total 5% increase to district teachers and staff during the 2022-23 school year. 

More than 2,400 donors contributed to HPEF’s annual Mad for Plaid fundraising campaign, which, for the last three years, has helped support raising teacher pay in the district.

“Three years ago, we were gifting $1.2 million, then $1.5, and now to have the community support us in this increasingly significant way is truly remarkable,” says Michael Denton, HPEF board president. “We are truly moving the needle to achieve competitive teacher pay, and our donors need to know that their gifts are making that happen.” 

With the passage of the Golden Penny Election in November 2021, as well as continued support from HPEF and the campus PTA/PTOs, the district had a cumulative 13% increase for all staff in three years.

During its June 20 meeting, the HPISD Board of Trustees also approved a new compensation package for district staff that will increase salaries by another 5% for the 2023-2024 school year.

“These gifted funds are a critical part of our budget and represent the single largest gift received by the district,” HPISD trustee Bryce Benson said. “The funding from HPEF, in particular, goes to our greatest need, which impacts every student, every teacher, and every school.”

The foundation’s 2023-2024 gift for teacher and staff salaries will be another $1.7 million next June, with the Mad for Plaid campaign set to launch in late October.

“We are grateful to have such a strong partnership with the Education Foundation that is committed to helping us when and where we need it most,” HPISD Superintendent Dr. Mike Rockwood said. “HPEF’s gifts to the district are a reflection of the community’s generosity and value system that is rooted in a thriving school district.”

To learn more about the Highland Park Education Foundation, visit its website.

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