Press Release Archive

Tillapaugh Participates in DC Forum

The special gathering was called in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s release of a report entitled, Preserving a Critical National Asset: America’s Disadvantaged Students and the Crisis in Faith-based Urban Schools. This report highlighted the fact that faith-based schools are closing at an alarming rate due to a lack of funding.

In response to these disturbing findings, the Department hosted a forum on improving the sustainability and performance of urban faith-based schools on Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at the U.S. Department of Education headquarters in Washington, D.C. The report contains Tillapaugh’s speech given at the White House on April 24, 2008 during the Summit on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools. You can view this document at

The discussion that took place July 15, 2009 was moderated by Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary in the Office of Innovation and Improvement, Peter Groff, director of Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and Jack Klenk, director of the Office of Non-Public Education.

The small invitational forum included private school leaders, entrepreneurs, funders, experts in a variety of relevant fields, and other interested parties. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss options for sustaining and improving the performance of urban faith-based schools. The outcome of the meetings was the development of several “taskforce” type committees that will address issues including alternative funding sources, alternative models, transparency and accountability, and partnerships.

Following the event, StreetSchool Network™ founders Tom Tillapaugh and Wendy Piersee were invited to join the taskforce on researching and developing alternative funding sources. The group will gather in Washington, D.C. on August 19, 2009 to continue their work to address the drop-out crisis in America.

About the StreetSchool Network™

The StreetSchool Network™ is working nationwide to meet the challenge of at-risk youth by developing a network of schools that provide personalized education, a moral code and tools for self-sufficiency.

The network aims to reduce the high school dropout rate by giving students a second chance at educational success through 40+ member schools that educate the “whole student,” with programs addressing academic rigor, career preparation, life-skills building, economic literacy and spiritual development.

Member schools are annually required to demonstrate that their students possess more than three risk factors that could keep them from achieving academic success resulting in network enrollment where more than half of the students live below the poverty level and three quarters are minorities.