NewSchools Venture Fund Invests $1.6 Million in Perspectives Charter Schools

April 9, 2007

New investment boosts organization’s impact on public education in Chicago

San Francisco, CA – April 9, 2007 – NewSchools Venture Fund today announced its investment of $1.6 million in Perspectives Charter Schools, a nonprofit charter management organization that provides a high-quality public education to underserved students in Chicago. Coupled with earlier funds committed by NewSchools, this grant will help Perspectives to build on the success of its flagship school by creating three new schools in Calumet. By 2014, Perspectives plans to operate up to 10 schools serving more than 4,500 students annually, primarily in grades 7-12.

“For many years, Perspectives has offered an excellent public school option to some of Chicago’s highest-need students,” said Jim Peyser, Partner at NewSchools. “NewSchools looks forward to supporting Perspectives as it grows, in order to prepare even more of the city’s high-need students for success in college and beyond.”

In addition to its investment in Perspectives Charter Schools, NewSchools has also supported several other organizations that serve students in Chicago: it has made made major financial commitments to Noble Network of Charter Schools and Lighthouse Public Schools, along with a planning grant to UNO Charter School Network. Together, these four organizations currently run 11 schools in Chicago that serve more than 3,600 students in grades K-12. By 2014, they plan to operate at least 25 schools that will together educate more than 12,000 of the city’s neediest students each year.

Perspectives Charter Schools is a growing network of high-performing public schools. Fueled by the success of its first school in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood – one of the first five charter schools in the city – Perspectives opened two additional schools last fall in the old Calumet High School building. The original campus has a graduation rate of approximately 80 percent and a college enrollment rate of 95 percent. A recent study by the Consortium on Chicago School Research showed that Perspectives graduates almost twice as many students as schools serving similar demographic populations.

“We are honored to have NewSchools Venture Fund as a partner in bringing more high-quality school options to Chicago’s kids,” said Kim Day, Chief Education Officer and Co-Founder of Perspectives. “Their investment in successful charter models is making a difference in the lives of students around the country.”

NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit venture philanthropy firm that has been working since 1998 to transform public education for underserved children by supporting education entrepreneurs who create high-quality education ventures that have the power to catalyze system-wide change. Its recent commitments to Perspectives and other CMOs in Chicago are part of a larger strategy to make a deeper systemic impact in some of the nation’s most challenged urban communities; other cities of focus include New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Oakland, California.

About Perspectives Charter Schools

Perspectives Charter Schools is a growing network of high-performing public schools. Chartered in 1997 as one of the first five charter schools in Chicago , Perspectives has earned its national reputation as a model of how a small school with innovative, effective education can transform urban schooling. For more information, please visit

About NewSchools Venture Fund

NewSchools Venture Fund is a venture philanthropy firm founded in 1998 that is working to transform public education for underserved children by supporting education entrepreneurs and connecting their work to systems change. Through its first two funds, NewSchools has invested more than $70 million in 25 for-profit and nonprofit entrepreneurial organizations that have made a measurable difference in the lives of millions of students across the country. Its third fund will focus on fueling the growth and quality of the charter school movement and on supporting the people, tools and practices needed for public school systems to become performance-driven organizations. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts

Laura Noss
Phone: (415) 317-4070

Julie Petersen, NewSchools Venture Fund
Phone: (415) 615-6863