The Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF) has served independent and private schools since 1976. It was founded as a high school membership organization. Its main purpose was to raise need-based scholarships funds for its members. MISF’s membership began with 17 high schools and over the years grew to include more than 40 secondary schools. MISF was created to make a strong impact in the educational environment of Minnesota by reducing barriers to a quality education for all kids regardless of race, ethnicity, or financial status.
In late 2010, MISF realized a need to transition into a more far reaching and high-functioning membership organization in order to more effectively serve the state’s entire private and independent school community. This new structure involved the implementation of a K-12 membership model with an altered dues structure consisting of an affordable per-child/student fee.
This strategic move expanded MISF’s membership potential and strengthened its mission to provide private and independent schools with the tools necessary to be successful in their efforts to educate students in grade school, high school, college and toward their future careers.
Along with directly serving Minnesota’s K-12 independent school community, MISF also helps inform lawmakers, policy makers, and the general public about the contributions that independent education makes to our state and society. Annually, independent and private schools save taxpayers and the state over $700 million. It increases the sector’s capacity for collective action and, through its relationship with the Council for American Private Education (CAPE), advances positions of common interest on behalf of the state’s independent schools. Relationships are built with donors, funders and sponsors to support targeted programs, and member schools are provided with resources, connections, education, and expertise in critical disciplines.
There are more than 65,000 students enrolled in K-12 independent schools in Minnesota. MISF believes each student deserves and needs to benefit from its programs, services, education, research, and public policy support.
To learn more about Minnesota’s independent and private schools, check out the 2012 Statewide Census of Private Education (SCOPE).