Long a funder of efforts to reduce undocumented immigration and uncover unethical behavior among Democratic elected officials, the F.M. Kirby Foundation is putting its resources into an effort to expand school choice for students in New Jersey. The foundation has invested $90,000 in Excellent Education for Everyone (E3), a New Jersey nonprofit focused on improving urban education.
When Chicago Public Schools announced that it would close some of the lowest-performing schools in its most troublesome neighborhoods, it ignited a fierce debate over public education. What few noticed was the role of the one of the nation’s richest families — in the form of the Walton Family Foundation — helped put the plan into action.
The Howard Gardner Charter School in Scranton, Pennsylvania recently accepted a grant of $80,000 from an organization known as The Reinvestment Fund (TRF). The charter's director, Vince Rizzo, said it would help the school subsidize "extensive renovations." The Reinvestment Fund requires that Howard Gardner spend the money over the course of the next year.
The Covenant Foundation has two awards for outstanding Jewish educators. The newer Pomegranate Prize goes to five outstanding new Jewish educators, and the older Covenant Award to three veteran educators. The Covenant provides $36,000 to recipients, while the Pomegranate is worth $15,000.
The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation uses its generous endowment to support a wide variety of interests, but education and children are clearly near the top of the priority list. And the latest grants make clear that the foundation is not afraid to straddle the line between education and politics.
Eighteen Oregon school districts will receive $36,000 each from The Chalkboard Project. While Oregon's public school student population consists of about 34% minority students, only about 8% of public school teachers are minorities in the area, according to the Chalkboard website.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation turned its funding attention to alternatives to traditional classroom learning models in its latest set of secondary and post-secondary education grants. In June 2012, the foundation announced $9 million in funding for "breakthrough learning models", including those of the online or blended online and traditional varieties.
According to the California Endowment, the heavily lauded Zero Tolerance policy does not have its place in all disciplinary situations, as it is generally applied. The foundation's Health Happens in Schools initiative believes in trying to bring a bit of common sense back to disciplinary measures taken by California public school officials.
It's always interesting to watch the Gates Foundation tackle a big problem. With so much more resources than other foundations, Gates can shell out millions just doing their homework — before then spending the truly big money.