National School Choice Week has been going strong for seven years now, this year with over 40,000 celebrations taking place across the country. Since 2011, kids and families nationwide have broken out their signature yellow scarves and danced to show their appreciation for the educational opportunities they would not have had without the power to choose their school.

Over the years, The Philanthropy Roundtable—via its signature National Forum on K-12 Philanthropy and Annual Meeting—has highlighted philanthropy's role in bolstering school choice at the federal, state, and municipal levels. Donors can register for the 2019 K-12 National Forum, April 3-4 in Denver, here.

Attendees will have the chance to see up-close how Denver families make decisions around choosing educational opportunities. Site visits will include charter school models, school-to-career programs, industry partnerships, and curricular offerings that promote entrepreneurship and employability.

Looking Back

Support for school choice has long been a hallmark of the Roundtable's K-12 education programming and has been prominently featured at events over the last two years. Most recently, the 2018 National Forum on K-12 Philanthropy featured visits to schools of choice such as Gestalt Community, Soulsville, and St. John's Elementary. Discussions throughout the event centered around philanthropic collaboration and alternate forms of school governance that have taken hold in Shelby County, giving parents more of a voice in their child's schooling.

The 2017 National Forum on K-12 Philanthropy in Washington, D.C. hosted a panel discussion on the potential of a school choice program at the federal level. This discussion was supplemented by school visits and panels that highlighted the best of D.C.'s robust charter school sector, which has contributed to improved student outcomes across all public schools in the District of Columbia.

Later that year, the 2017 Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona featured a visit to the Foundation for Blind Children, an incredibly inspiring institution designed to educate both adults and children who are visually impaired. Donors also heard from parents and families who benefit from Arizona's Education Savings Account program, which allows public, per-pupil funding for tuition, therapy, and school supplies.

During the 2016 Annual Meeting, donors attended a pullout gathering on the supply side of school choice and how donors can aid in building up the supply of high-quality schools through facility support, leadership development, policy and advocacy work, and identifying promising school models.

Learn more about The Philanthropy Roundtable's K-12 Education Program here.