Giving Compass’ Take:
• John Arnold (part of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation) made personal donations to the Texas School Venture Fund, the newest charter school of the KIPP program and did not give money directly through the foundation.
• How will this funding impact the new charter school? And are there barriers or rules around the number of personal donations allowed for charter schools?
• Read about how much charter schools are costing districts.
Despite allegations of sexual abuse made against the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) co-founder Mike Feinberg, Laura and John Arnold of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation made a personal donation of an undisclosed amount to Feinberg’s new school choice fund, the Texas School Venture Fund (TSVF), according to Chalkbeat, further establishing the Arnolds as donors to causes laced with controversy.
Jeanne Allen, founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform (a pro-school choice think tank), told InsideSources she expects Feinberg’s new fund to help launch new charter schools.
“What I think [he] is attempting to do is give people who don’t have access to capital to have the ability to develop [charter school] ideas and scale the ideas while they’re waiting to be approved for a charter, because it can take a year to two years to get approved,” she said.
Donations and grants made to charter schools by philanthropists and foundations like the Arnolds’, then, can make a huge difference in a charter school’s development, scalability, and efficiency. Although the Arnolds’ donation was personal and not made through the foundation, both the Arnolds and the foundation are known advocates of school choice, evidenced by giving patterns. For example, the foundation granted KIPP $1 million dispersed 2011-2015 “to help scale the grantee’s effective school leadership development model” and for 2015-2020 granted KIPP $10 million “to provide general operating support.”
The $10 million grant from the Arnold Foundation is also a substantial piece of KIPP’s budget: KIPP received approximately $63 million in grants and contributions in its fiscal year 2015 and approximately $71 million in 2016, according to its Form 990s. (KIPP did not respond to InsideSources’ request for comment.)
Read the full article about funding for KIPP by Kate Patrick at InsideSources
Funding is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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