Broad Foundation’s $10.5 Million Grant Is Designed to Jump Start Charter School Movement
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 10, 2002 – The NewSchools Venture Fund and The Broad Foundation today announced The Broad Foundation’s commitment of up to $10.5 million to accelerate the pace and quality of charter school growth in the United States.
Eli Broad, Founder of The Broad Foundation, said: “I believe that charters, choice, and competition create important forces that help us to better serve children in our nation’s neediest communities. Our investment in NewSchools Venture Fund will provide new, high quality schools for children and create maneuvering room for innovative school principals and superintendents who, in the current system, simply cannot get the kind of freedoms and flexibility they need to radically improve America’s urban public schools.”
The NewSchools Venture Fund’s Charter Accelerator Fund will incubate four to six nonprofit charter school management organizations in the next three years. Charter school management organizations are scalable institutions that manage systems of public charter schools. Through these nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurial educators align educational philosophy, instructional design, and business operations with the priorities of parents, teachers and community members to create accountable, sustainable institutions. Within five years of start-up, they expect the newly established charter school management organizations to run 16 schools each, totaling 80 schools and almost 30,000 students collectively.
The Broad Foundation is the largest institutional supporter of NewSchools Venture Fund’s charter school efforts. Other founding individual donors include: Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix.com and President of the California State Board of Education; Steven Merrill; the Noyce Foundation; Dave Whorton of Good Technologies; Brook Byers and John Doerr of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.
“To reach sustainability, these charter school entrepreneurs need larger scale growth capital,” said Kim Smith, CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund. “The Broad Foundation grant is a good start, and we hope other philanthropic funders will also rise to the challenge.”
On the heels of their $20 million first fund, NewSchools Venture Fund announces that $24.5 million has been committed toward their goal of a $50 million second fund. It will include the Charter Accelerator Fund and the Technology Innovation Fund, which will focus on supporting early-stage education technology innovation in areas such as accountability, data management and assessment tools for educators.
Broad concluded: “We believe that the only way to change the prevailing culture in our public education system is to challenge the status quo. Supporting new and innovative ideas is the best way to achieve this. We don’t need to dismantle our public education system. But we do need to radically improve our nation’s public schools by tackling the issues that are at the root of the problem. That is what this grant will do.”