by David Safier
The Walton Family, heirs to the Walmart fortune, love charter schools, and they show their love by giving generously through the Walton Family Foundation. But until I found a link on Diane Ravitch's blog to the Foundation page listing the grants it gave in 2012, I had no idea how generous they were. The Foundation gave $158 million to education in 2012. Lots of the groups and schools receiving the grants have names that don't indicate who they are, so I just pulled out names that are clearly charter schools or organizations supporting charter schools. A quick estimate of the money in that very partial list comes to something like $80 million. Some of the biggest recipients are organizations like California Charter Schools Association ($5,000,000), Charter School Growth Fund - Louisiana ($2,000,000), KIPP Foundation ($8,374,000), Teach for America ($11,445,000) [this isn't directly charter-related, but I decided to throw it in because TfA is becoming a big part of the "school choice" movement], and a whopping $14,900,000 to Charter Fund, Inc.
Here's my partial list of charter school-related recipients. It continues below the fold. I'm sure if I spent some time, I could nearly double it.
- Alliance for School Choice, Inc. 1,700,000
- American Center for School Choice 125,000
- Arizona Charter Schools Association 586,475
- Arizona School Choice Administration Corporation 100,000
- Association of Missouri Charter Schools 326,300
- Black Alliance for Educational Options 1,114,200
- California Charter Schools Association 5,000,000
- Center for Education Reform 809,209
- Charter School Partners 314,000
- Colorado League of Charter Schools 245,000
- Education Reform Now, Inc. 500,000
- Florida Charter School Alliance 168,345
- Foundation for Excellence in Education 1,000,000