News + Ideas

NewSchools Announces Up to $8 Million in Funding for PreK-12 Education Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Thinking of starting an innovative school or supporting diverse education leaders? We want to hear about it.

(Oakland, CA, August 1, 2019) — NewSchools Venture Fund today announced open funding opportunities for two of their investment areasInnovative Public Schools and Diverse Leaders. For teams of educators and entrepreneurs who are either dreaming of opening a new innovative public school, or are interested in growing, advancing and supporting Black and Latino leadership in education, this could be the opportunity to make those dreams a reality. Up to $8 million dollars in total funding is now available.

NewSchools supports innovators who are reimagining learning to make sure every young person in America finishes high school prepared and inspired to create and live the life they want – a good life, full of opportunity, choices, connection and meaning. To reach this aspiration, students need a strong academic foundation and other important mindsets, habits and skills. 

“We want to invest in innovators and educators with bold ideas to reimagine learning. In addition to funding, NewSchools provides management assistance to help our ventures take their ideas from concept to reality,” said Frances Messano, Senior Managing Partner, NewSchools Venture Fund. “Too often those who already have connections to funders are the ones who get opportunities to launch their concepts. We want to level the playing field and offer an opportunity to those who have strong ideas, but may not have those connections. That’s why we are excited to do this open call for submissions.”

While both the Innovative Public Schools and Diverse Leaders investment areas are  launching new funding opportunities on August 1, the opportunities close at different times. Diverse Leaders closes on September 13, 2019 and Innovative Public Schools closes November 11, 2019. In addition to funding, the selected ventures also receive management assistance and opportunities to collaborate within a cohort of other organizations selected for this round of funding.

For more information on each investment area, please see below.

Innovative Public Schools – NewSchools invests in innovative public schools all over the country – both district and charter – that embrace an expanded definition of student success. We define this as a strong academic foundation combined with important mindsets, habits and skills needed for success in life. These innovative public schools are using new approaches to reimagine learning, so schools are more tailored to students’ individual needs, skill levels and interests.

Investments in our Innovative Public Schools strategy include new schools through our Invent program and redesigned schools through our Model Providers work. However, this particular funding opportunity will focus only on new schools planning to launch in Fall 2021. Using a rigorous due diligence process, we will select the most promising teams of educators and support them through the critical planning and early implementation phases. Funding of $200,000 includes participation in a cohort experience to help teams refine their designs and prepare for launch in one year. Submissions are due Nov. 11, 2019, and ventures will be selected in March 2020.

Diverse Leaders – Our aim is to see Black and Latino leaders represent at least 40% of PreK-12 education leadership, mirroring the racial and ethnic representation of U.S. students. NewSchools provides funding and management assistance to organizations advancing Black and Latino leadership in education by:

  • Recruiting new Black and Latino leaders into education. 
  • Accelerating the careers of Black and Latino leaders already working in education. 
  • Creating networks of Black and Latino education leaders. 
  • Building the capacity of education organizations to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive. 
  • Influencing the field to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive in areas such as research, design, policy and/or advocacy. 

 Funding is in the range of $100,000 – $200,000, and submissions are due by Sept. 13, 2019. Ventures will be selected in December 2019. 

About NewSchools Venture Fund
NewSchools Venture Fund is a nonprofit venture philanthropy that invests in promising teams of educators and innovators with the vision and skills to reimagine learning. We help them accomplish their missions to achieve outstanding results for the students, educators and schools they serve. We are committed to helping students finish high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans. Through our investing, management assistance, network building and thought leadership, NewSchools helps to reimagine PreK-12 education. 

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