PA Coalition of Public Charter Schools Receives $1.14 Million Grant from Walton Family Foundation
May 15, 2012
The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) announced today that it has received a $1.14 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation. The three-year grant was made with the goal of expanding efforts to drive quality and accountability in Pennsylvania charter schools, and is the largest private investment in PCPCS to date.
“The Walton Family Foundation is investing in PCPCS due to its effectiveness at helping expand the right of parents to choose quality charter schools for their children, and their early success at pursuing policies that increase quality, accountability and transparency in charter schools,” said Ed Kirby, Senior Program Officer at the Walton Family Foundation. “PCPCS has proven skilled at learning from the work and practical experience of national organizations in other states and nuancing national best practices to fit the unique issues and needs of Pennsylvania students. With PCPCS as a leader in the Pennsylvania charter school movement, more students will have access to high-quality public schools.”
“I applaud the leadership of the Coalition for seeking to enhance and grow charter school opportunities, as well as emphasize the need for increased accountability,” said Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis. “Public charter schools provide a viable alternative to traditional public schools for families who desire quality academic opportunities for their children.”
In 2011, the Walton Family Foundation invested $159 million in K-12 education reform initiatives. The Foundation supports organizations and programs that empower parents, particularly in low-income communities, to choose among quality, publicly funded schools for their children. The Foundation believes that when families are empowered with quality choices and information, they can help transform public education in their local community and the nation.
“We would like to thank the Walton Family Foundation for this investment, as it demonstrates confidence in our work and direction at this pivotal time for public education in Pennsylvania,” said Lawrence F. Jones Jr., president of PCPCS. “The grant confirms that in just two short years of existence under its current structure, PCPCS has become a leader in helping to create high-quality educational options for more students in Pennsylvania. We are seeing great success as a result of the support of partners like the Walton Family Foundation.”
About the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS)
PCPCS is dedicated to choice, quality, and accountability in public education. We advocate for legislation and policies that support those objectives and provide assistance to charter schools, with the aspiration of making every charter school in Pennsylvania a high performing public school. More than 90,000 children are enrolled in 167 charter schools throughout the Commonwealth and more than 40,000 are on waiting lists. For more information on PCPCS or charters schools, visit www.pacharters.org.
About the Walton Family Foundation and K-12 Reform
Driven by the urgent need to dramatically raise student achievement, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, the Walton Family Foundation has invested more than $1 billion to date in initiatives that expand parental choice and equal opportunity in education. Empowering parents to choose quality schools, regardless of type – traditional public, private or public charter school – will help spur the bold transformation of our national K-12 system of public education. Our nation’s children will only reach their potential in today’s global economy by having access to a high-quality, publicly funded education. Visit the foundation at www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org.