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Letter from Council re: Get More Opportunities Fund

Mar 01, 2024

Dear Mayor Justin M. Bibb and CEO Dr. Warren Morgan,


The quotation by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he

stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and

controversy," stands as a timeless reminder of the significance of integrity and perseverance.


Members of Cleveland City Council are officially requesting that Mayor Justin M. Bibb and CEO

Dr. Warren Morgan return a one-time $20 million donation to the "CMSD Get More

Opportunities Fund." The Council considers it vital to maintain credibility and support the

aspirations of future leaders with integrity and honesty. It is unacceptable to retract a promised

resource for students and the community.



On November 23rd, 2022, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott bestowed a generous, unrestricted

donation of $20 million to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) at The East

Technical High School. This endowment is the most significant private contribution the CMSD

has received in the past twenty years and possibly the most prominent private contribution

ever presented to the school district. The primary objective of the donation is to enrich the

educational experience of students, reinforce support for staff and administrators, and upgrade

the school district. The gift has been designated to be allocated to three categories: educational

opportunities for students, professional development opportunities for educators, and onetime




The donation is intended to support educational opportunities that enrich students' learning

experience. The funding has been allocated towards travel expenses for college visits and

learning, providing students with an immersive experience, and towards the professional

development of educators through tuition and training costs. The latter initiative is intended to

equip educators with the necessary skills to enhance their teaching abilities. Additionally, the

donation should enable the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to improve its

infrastructure, particularly in crucial areas such as athletic equipment, musical instruments, and

science labs. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) aims to enhance the overall

learning experience of its students by facilitating one-time improvements in critical areas.


However, the recent decision to rescind this one-time gift has caused significant

disappointment among the students, faculty, and community. The move has been perceived as

disheartening, particularly considering the positive impact that the proposed improvements

were expected to have. The decision to withdraw this gift calls into question the commitment

to providing a high-quality education to the students in the CMSD and may have far-reaching

implications for the future of the district.



It is imperative to uphold credibility and demonstrate support for the aspirations of future

leaders with integrity and honesty. Retracting a promised resource for students and the

community is unacceptable, as it undermines trust and hinders progress. Fulfilling

commitments and maintaining one's word is a cornerstone of building meaningful and

productive relationships with students, colleagues, and the community. As such, we must

ensure that we adhere to our commitments and provide the necessary resources to foster

growth and development.



The generous donation received is expected to significantly impact the Cleveland Metropolitan School

District (CMSD) and provide much-needed support for the betterment of the district. We, the

undersigned members of Cleveland City Council members recognize the significance of maintaining

credibility and supporting the aspirations of future leaders with integrity and honesty. It is unacceptable

to withdraw a promised resource for students and the community.






Cleveland City Council

Richard A. Starr

Council Member, Ward 5



Cleveland City Council

Kevin Conwell

Council Member, Ward 9



Cleveland City Council

Kevin L. Bishop

Council Member, Ward 2



Cleveland City Council

Deborah A. Gray

Council Member, Ward 4



Cleveland City Council

Stephanie D. Howse-Jones

Council Member, Ward 7



Cleveland City Council

Michael D. Polensek

Council Member, Ward 8



Cleveland City Council

Anthony T. Hairston

Council Member, Ward 10



Cleveland City Council

Rebecca Maurer

Council Member, Ward 12



Cleveland City Council

Joseph T. Jones

Council Member, Ward 1



Cleveland City Council

Kris Harsh

Council Member, Ward 13



Cleveland City Council

Jasmin Santana

Council Member, Ward 14



Cleveland City Council

Brian Kazy

Council Member, Ward 16