CMSD officials vow to continue to help disadvantaged students get uniforms

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(WOIO) - Although budget restraints have rendered the Cleveland Metropolitan School District unable to continue providing school uniform vouchers this year, District officials say they will continue to abide by state law and a school policy that requires the district to assist parents of economically disadvantaged students with obtaining school uniforms.

On July 22, 2010, the local office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent the Cleveland Metropolitan School District a letter of concern that the District's financial condition makes it unable to fund school uniforms, as it has for the last two years.

District officials have assured the ACLU they are in compliance with state law and are taking a number of steps to assist families with acquiring uniforms at an affordable cost, with distribution of uniforms provided through donations and financial contributions of the Cleveland community.

The District's current uniform policy provides a framework for assisting families who cannot afford to pay the full price for uniforms, and CMSD's Office of Family and Community Engagement has assembled a comprehensive list to share with families of community agencies and vendors committed to providing new and gently used uniforms for CMSD students in time for the start of school.

A list of stores offering uniform discounts and trade-ins, and a schedule of CMSD-sponsored fairs that will include discount coupons and uniform raffles, is being distributed to families in district mailings and fliers and is available on the CMSD web site.

To further assist students in need of uniforms, individual schools will continue to maintain uniform closets, and CMSD's Project ACT has 165 uniforms available for children who qualify.

Anyone interested in assisting CMSD families with uniform vouchers or donations should contact the Office of Family and Community Engagement at 216.858.0117.

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