One of the most encouraging aspects of what feels like renewed commitment to our schools and our kids is the way educators and community leaders are drilling down on what matters.

We know reading matters. So does school readiness and healthy food and tutors and a smart discipline policy. But we also know, more than ever, something we’ve really known all along.

For any of this other stuff to work, kids have to actually be in school. Attendance matters.

Attendance data for Madison Public Schools is not as good as it should be. United Way, as usual, is leading a response.

It’s called HERE! It was launched last year with the slogan of every student, every day, to emphasize the importance of not missing class.

This week, the first week of school, the HERE! Advisory Council, made up of 20 community leaders of color, announced $36,000 in funding for attendance projects in the district.

We call that putting one’s money where one’s mouth is and frankly that’s the only way we will truly be successful in making sure every one of our children succeeds.