Who's the Biggest New Ally of Minority Charter School Advocates?

The best case for charter schools is often made by parents of minority students who badly want better education options for their kids. It's hard to argue with such desperation, even if the actual effectiveness of charter schools remains in question.

The Walton Family Foundation clearly gets the power of minority voices speaking up for charter schools and is using its deep pockets to bankroll these voices and help them get better organized. (See Walton Family Foundation: Grants for Charter Schools)

One of the biggest beneficiaries of this spending has been the Black Alliance for Educational Options, which was launched in 2000 with start-up funds from the Walton Family Foundation and other funders. Since 2009, it has received over $4.7 million from the foundation. Thanks in part to Walton funding, BAEO has established local offices in seven states. (Read deputy director of K-12 education reform Ed Kirby's IP profile).

The Walton Family Foundation is also supporting Hispanic charter advocates. It's been a supporter of the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options for a decade, giving the group $1 milllion in 2003. Another pro-charter Hispanic group receiving funds in recent years is the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders

All this funding is further evidence that the Walton Family Foundation is using every strategy available — and mobilizing every possible constituency — to promote charter schools and school choice more broadly.