This is The Walton Family's Ed Expert: Carrie Walton Penner

The Walton Family Foundation is one of the largest backers of school choice in the U.S., spending over $1 billion in the area so far. And that may just be a start, given a combined Walton family fortune of nearly $100 billion. Rob Walton's daughter Carrie has focused her career on education policy and is the family member most immersed in its giving to K-12 education — so what do we know about her?

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Meet the Walton Heir Who Works Deep in the Charter School Movement

One family member to watch closely as the Waltons' education philanthropy keeps ramping up is Carrie Walton Penner. The daughter of Rob Walton, Penner — who is in her early 40s — has focused her career on education policy and is the Walton most immersed in its giving for charter schools. She is among the most powerful ed philanthropists in the United States.
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How Walton Shapes the School Voucher Movement

The Walton Family Foundation, a leading advocate of charter schools and other school choice initiatives, has pumped additional life into the debate over private school vouchers. The foundation recently gave $6 million to the Alliance for School Choice — basically doubling the organization's budget — to promote school voucher advocacy across the country.

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What Walton Looks For In New Charter Schools

The Walton Family Foundation is to new charter schools what a venture capital fund is to startup companies. The foundation’s recent awarding of a $250,000 grant to Christel House Academy West charter school in Indianapolis, Indiana, gives valuable insight into what this funder looks for in new proposals submitted to its Public Charter Startup Grant program.
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Walton Turns Attention to Special Education in Charters

Many national studies of charter schools have found that charter schools serve smaller proportions of disabled and other children requiring special education services, compared to traditional public schools. The Walton Family Foundation has challenged the charter school movement to address the special education enrollment gap.
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Who's the Biggest New Ally of Minority Charter School Advocates?

The best case for charter schools is often made by parents of color who badly want better education options for their kids. 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.

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One Big Bankroller of the Charter School Lobby: The Walton Family Foundation

Funders who believe in charter schools have pursued two core strategies in recent years: direct support, and legislative action. The Walton Family Foundation has pursued both strategies, but their direct support of charter schools has gotten the most attention.

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