Compare Legacy Taxpayer Supported Madison K-12 Spending with the One City Startup

Kaleem Caire, via email:

February 28, 2023

Dear One City Parents,

This is an important time for One City Schools and for education across the state of Wisconsin. Over the next several months our legislature and governor will be engaging with one another and individuals and organizations from across the state to inform what will be Wisconsin’s state budget for the 2023-2025 Biennium. In order for One City to sustain our public charter schools and build upon our mission, we must secure more state funding for our schools.

To do this, we must convince our state legislators and governor that schools like One City and the children and families that are part of our community, deserve equal funding! Students who attend independent public charter schools should not be funded at a rate lower than students attending traditional public schools. In 2020-21, One City received just $10,203 per student in public funding to support our “public” charter school compared to the $25,877 in public funding that the Madison Metropolitan School District received. Yet, we both spent a similar amount per student, with One City spending more on innovation in the classroom, on our healthy school meals program, and our longer school day and year.

How does One City currently fill this significant funding gap? We do so through private fundraising – by asking local businesses, philanthropy and supporters like you to give financially to our schools. In 2020-21, we had to raise $15,000 per student privately to educate our students. We are now joining together with other independent public charter schools statewide to tell our legislature why it is not fair to require us to raise so much money for our “public” schools.

Convincing our legislature and governor requires telling our story. They must know why One City is special, why families choose One City and why the state should invest and fund schools like One City.

We need your help over the next few months to tell One City’s story!

If you are interested in this opportunity to be one of our Parent Advocates please complete this form.

During this Spring session we will organize to engage in direct advocacy activities such as meetings with legislators, attending public hearings and more.

We are partnering with City Forward Collective who will offer a series of zoom trainings during the month of March to get us started. Please mark your calendars for March 2, March 9, March 16, and March 23rd. See this flier (and below) for more details about these training sessions. Those who sign up via the link above will be added to the list for the training.

Please consider joining us to do this important work on behalf of our One City community. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact One City’s Chief of Staff, Latoya Holiday at


Latoya Holiday
Chief of Staff
One City Schools

Marilyn Ruffin
VP of Family and Student Engagement
One City Schools

Kaleem Caire
Founder and CEO/Superintendent
One City Schools

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