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Broad Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund Invest in Los Angeles Charter Schools

$2.8 million investment in Green Dot will help create additional charter schools in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — March 15, 2004 — The Broad Foundation today announced an investment of up to $2.8 million in Green Dot Public Schools through NewSchools Venture Fund to develop new charter schools in Los Angeles over the next four years. The goal of this investment is to dramatically increase the number and quality of charter schools in Los Angeles.

“Students in Los Angeles deserve access to a great public education, and charter schools help expand that opportunity,” said Kevin Hall, Chief Operating Officer of The Broad Foundation. “Our partnership with NewSchools to invest in Green Dot Public Schools will help support new public schools for Los Angeles-area parents seeking an excellent public education for their children.”

A charter school is an independent public school, designed and operated by educators, parents, community leaders, and/or education entrepreneurs. Financed by the same per-pupil funds that traditional public schools receive, charter schools are held accountable for how well they educate children in a safe and responsible environment, not for compliance with district and state regulations.

Green Dot is a non-profit organization that currently operates three exceptional high schools in the Los Angeles area: Animo Leadership Charter High School, Animo Inglewood Charter High School and Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter High School. According to California’s Academic Performance Index (API) – which measures academic performance of schools and districts relative to each other – Animo Inglewood was ranked 4 out of 10 against schools statewide and 10 out of 10 against schools with similar demographics in 2003. And between 2002 and 2003, Animo Leadership increased its statewide score to a 5 out of 10 against all schools statewide. The organization was started in 1999 by Steve Barr to transform secondary education in Los Angeles through the creation of a network of exceptional charter high schools. This grant will enable Green Dot Public Schools to open two charter schools this fall, and an additional six to eight over the next four years.

“The Broad Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund have both been strong supporters of the public charter school movement as a catalyst for positive change in public education,” said Steve Barr, CEO of Green Dot Public Schools. “We look forward to providing more high-quality small schools for the parents and children of Los Angeles.”

This new commitment to Green Dot is the second installment of a $10.5 million grant by The Broad Foundation to NewSchools Venture Fund’s Charter Accelerator Fund, which is focused on fueling the growth of the charter school movement by supporting entrepreneurs who are developing strong charter management organizations. Charter school management organizations are nonprofit organizations that manage groups of public charter schools. These entrepreneurial organizations build and run accountable, sustainable public charter schools for innovative educators and parents seeking quality public education opportunities and choices for their children.

“With this kind of forward-thinking support from The Broad Foundation and others, NewSchools will continue to increase the supply and quality of public charter schools,” said Kim Smith, president and CEO of New Schools Venture Fund. “Green Dot’s work, and the work of other nonprofit charter management organizations, is an incredibly important part of transforming public education.”

In December 2002, The Broad Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund committed $4.74 million to Aspire Public Schools, in order to create seven new charter schools by 2007. Since then, Aspire has grown to include ten schools serving more than 3,400 students.

About The Broad Foundation

The Broad Foundation’s mission is to dramatically improve K-12 urban public education through better governance, management and labor relations. In addition to The Broad Center, The Foundation has four other national flagship initiatives:

(*) The $1 million Broad Prize for Urban Education, awarded each year to urban school districts making the greatest overall improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps between ethnic and income groups;

  • The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, a national effort focused on identifying, training and supporting outstanding leaders from education, business, government, nonprofit and the military to become successful urban school superintendents;
  • The Broad Institute for School Boards, an annual training program for newly-elected and appointed urban school board members designed to increase student achievement through improved governance; and
  • The Broad Residency in Urban Education, an intensive two-year management development program that offers the next generation of leadership the opportunity to assume managerial positions immediately in the central operations of urban school districts.

For more information, visit www.broadfoundation.org.

About NewSchools Venture Fund

NewSchools Venture Fund is a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm working to transform public education through powerful ideas and passionate entrepreneurs so that all children – especially those currently underserved – have the opportunity to succeed in the 21st century. Founded in 1998, NewSchools invested its first $20 million fund in nine nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and now has a $70 million second fund under development from more than ten individual and institutional donors.

NewSchools’ investments focus on accelerating the growth of nonprofit charter school systems, including investments in Aspire Public Schools, Green Dot Public Schools and Leadership Public Schools; and on enhancing the capacity of school districts to produce high levels of student achievement, including investments in New Leaders for New Schools, Teachscape and Teach for America. For more information, visit www.newschools.org.

About Green Dot Public Schools

Green Dot Public Schools is a 501©(3) non-profit organization incorporated in California in 1999 to create a network of exceptional charter high schools and transform secondary education in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Green Dot will drive substantive change in Los Angeles’ high schools to help ensure that all young adults in LA receive the high-quality high school educations they deserve to prepare them for success in college, leadership and life. Green Dot was created in 1999 by Steve Barr to drive substantive reform in secondary education throughout Los Angeles and ultimately the State of California.

Green Dot operates three schools in the Los Angeles area. Green Dot opened its first school, Animo Leadership Charter High School, in the fall of 2000. Animo Leadership currently serves 9th through 12th grade students and will graduate its first class June 2004. In August 2002, Green Dot opened its second high school, Animo Inglewood Charter High School, which currently serves 9th and 10th graders. Its third school, Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter High School, opened August 2003 and is currently serving 9th graders. For more information, please visit www.greendotpublicschools.org.