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Dedication and Expectation

“What’s her number?” That is the question posed by our cover story. The piece marks the beginning of a series examining the state of public education in ZIP codes across the nation.

It makes me reflect upon the time I spent attending elementary school in ZIP code 53178 and going to middle and high school in ZIP code 53549—both in Jefferson County, Wisc. Years later, my quality public education continues to serve me well.

My experience was that class sizes were 20 – 25 students—max. Education support professionals and teachers were loved respected, and supported. There was general agreement that schools should be adequately funded and students should have the tools they needed to learn.

But in the last 30 years, the opportunity gap between wealthy and poor communities has widened greatly. As the cover story illustrates, a ZIP code—where a student lives—can determine how much support is received by their public school.

One thing that has remained the same—in ZIP codes across this nation—is that talented, dedicated, and skilled public school educators are key to great public schools for every student. Wishing you and your students a great year!

--Steve Grant

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