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When You Lie Down with Dogs, Keep the Anti-Itch Powder Handy

Posted: 2010-04-16

In her new book The Death and Life of the Great American School System, Diane Ravitch gives thanks to the William E. Simon Foundation. This is an interesting group, with an interesting history, and they channeled $50,000 through New York University to support Ravitch's research. Foundations don't give money to private individuals; they find an institution that will pay out the money after keeping a handling fee.

The question for readers of The Death and Life of the Great American School System, is which bridges did Ravitch burn.

Truth in Disclosure: The research and operation of this website is funded by $438 in contributions from friends and from my Social Security check.


William E. Simon: Secretary of the Treasury in Nixon and Ford administration; head of John Olin Foundation, whose purpose was, he said, “to support those individuals and institutions who are working to strengthen the free enterprise system” He urged the business community to support those intellectuals who work for the supremacy of the free market; founded, with Irving Kristol, the New York based Institute for Educational Affairs (IEA), a neoconservative organization. IEA received start-up grants of $100,000 from the Olin, Scaife, J.M and Smith Richardson foundations, as well as substantial contributions from the Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Ford Motor Co., General Electric, K-Mart, Mobil and Nestle corporations. Media Transparency reports that while Simon was the Olin Foundation President in 1992 funding David Brock's attacks on Anita Hill, he was also the finance chairman of the Citizen's Committee to Confirm Clarence Thomas; trustee of The John Templeton Foundation. on the boards of Heritage Foundation and Hoover Institution; president of the Richard Nixon Presidential Archives Foundation; chairman of the U.S. Olympic Foundation Board of Trustees; president of the United States Olympic Committee.



The William E. Simon Foundation continues to fund conservative think tanks and organizations promoting charter schools.



Notable Remark: "There is only one social system that reflects the sovereignty of the individual: the free-market, or capitalist, system."-- A Time for Truth (1978), 221.



Noteable Remark: Funds generated by business...must rush by the multimillions to the aid of liberty...to funnel desperately needed funds to scholars, social scientists, writers and journalists who understand the relationship between political and economic liberty. [Business must] cease the mindless subsidizing of colleges and universities who departments of economy, government, politics and history are hostile to capitalism.--William E. Simon, Time for Truth (1979)



Of the $40,719,841 disbursed by the William E. Simon Foundation between 1998 and 2005, the bulk of the funds went to Catholic schools and charter schools, and organizations supporting conservative precepts.



Here is a sampling of the grants 1998--2005



  • Heritage Foundation: $402,500


  • Hillsdale College: $395,600

    cited by National Review as "citadel of conservatism"


  • Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy: $284,250


  • Teach for America: $251,000


  • Elayne G. Bennett: $250,000 [guess whose wife]


  • Manhattan Institute: $220,000


  • Alliance for School Choice: $200,000


  • Hoover Institution: $180,000


  • American Enterprise Institute: $112,500


  • Philanthropy Roundtable: $100,000


  • Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation: $88,000


  • Thomas B. Fordham Institute: $75,000


  • Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey, Inc.: $72,180


  • Reason Foundation: $50,000


  • Family Research Council: $50,000


  • Association of American Educators (Laguna Hills, CA): $25,000


  • National Pancreas Foundation: $21,600


  • American Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta: $17,350


  • Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation: $15,000


  • New York University: $12,500


  • New York Public Library: $10,000


  • The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation: $10,000


  • New York Historical Society: $10,000


  • Skid Row Charity Fund: $9,290


  • Los Angeles Orphans Home Society: $8,150


  • Metropolitan Golf Association Foundation: $7,500


  • Greenwich Library: $5,000


  • Fresh Air Fund: $2,500


  • Accuracy [sic]in Media, Inc: $2,000


  • National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund: $2,000


  • Whale Conservation Institute: $1,000


  • International Tennis Hall of Fame: $1,000


  • New York Yankees Foundation: $1,000


  • Save Pound Animals Thru Rescue and Education: $820


  • AIDS Project Los Angeles, Inc.: $750


  • Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic: $500


  • Harvard Medical School: $500


  • Hoboken Historical Museum: $500


  • Catholic Relief Services: $360


  • Los Angeles Tenth District Parents, Teachers, and Students Association, Inc.: $250


  • American Red Cross (Washington, DC): $200


  • Amnesty International: $200


  • Habitat for Humanity: $125


  • California Highway Patrol: $100


  • WYNC Radio: $50






  • Grants in 2007 totaled $7,802,039. Here's one:





    New York University

    New York, NY

    Grant Year: 2007

    Grant Type: Education

    Research and Ideas

    Amount: $50,000

    Grant Purpose: Support for scholar Diane Ravitch's education research.







    Other William E. Simon Foundation grants in 2007 included [this is a sampling]:



  • Abraham House: $225,000


  • Alliance for School Choice: $15,000 [In 2008, they received $200,000]


  • American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research: $75,000--Support for Michael Novak's research and scholarship.


  • American Spectator Foundation: $5,000


  • Archdiocese of New York: $86,375-- Support for an initiative creating an extended school day at St. Angela Merici School in the South Bronx.


  • Association of American Educators: $40,000--Support for their work promoting and helping teachers join professional associations that are alternatives to the teachers' union [2008: $50,000]


  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City: $60,000--Support for a mentoring program for teenage mothers in the South Bronx


  • Black Alliance for Educational Options: $25,000--: Support for their work to promote parental choice, empower families, and increase quality educational options for Black children


  • Civic Builders: $100,000--Support for the development of charter school sites in the South Bronx


  • Harvard University: [2008: $75,000-- Support for a research project on the impact of school vouchers on college enrollment, incarceration, and political participation.]


  • Heritage Foundation: $75,000


  • Hoover Institution: [2008: $250,000--Support for the Carol G. Simon Fellow, who will serve on the Task Force on Virtues of a Free Society.]


  • KIPP NY: $112,500 [2008: $112,500]


  • Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: $300,000 [2008: $300,000]

    Plus $52,500--Kay Hymowitz, the William E. Simon Fellow, on the topic of "Manhood in a Post-Feminist Age." [2008: $52,500]


  • Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation: $5,000


  • National Right to Work Foundation: $20,000--Support for the Teacher Freedom Initiative


  • Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy: $75,000--Support for their education policy research and scholarship [2008" $75,000]


  • Pepperdine University: $75,000--Support of a William E. Simon Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Public Policy, with a focus on free markets and religion as important aspects of public life


  • Philanthropy Roundtable: $30,000--Support for a meeting of the top funders of Catholic education, and the publication of a guidebook based on the conference, "Who Will Save Catholic Schools?"


  • Philadnthropy Roundtable: $350,000-- Support for the administration of the William E. Simon Prize in Philanthropic Leadership in 2008 [2008: $300,000 for 2009 lecture]


  • Philanthropy Roundtable: $10,000--Support for their work as a national association of philanthropists and foundations.


  • Rutgers University: $5,000--Support for the Milton Friedman Distinguished Lecture Series


  • Thomas B. Fordham Institute: [2008: $25,000--Support for Common Core’s work to help make comprehensive liberal arts and sciences education the standard for all K-12 students


  • University of Rochester: $400,000--Support for merit-based scholarships at the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business. {2008: $400,000]




  • The pattern continued in 2009.



    2006 & 2007 GRANTS: The Achelis and Bodman Foundations Combined [pdf file]



    Steinhardt School of Education, New York University

    New York, New York

    For a book on Mayor Bloomberg’s education reforms in New York City, by Professor Diane Ravitch

    BODMAN, 2006, $75,000




    The Achelis and Bodman Foundations guidelines state that they do not give grants to individual K-12 schools--except charter schools. Here are their Education Grants, 2006-2007



  • Achievement First

    Brooklyn, New York

    For the start-up and first-year expenses of new charter schools in Brooklyn:

    AF-Bushwick Charter School

    ACHELIS, 2006, $50,000




  • AF-Endeavor Charter School

    BODMAN, 2006, $100,000


  • AF Bushwick Charter School Middle Academy

    ACHELIS, 2007, $50,000


  • AF Brownsville Charter School Middle Academy

    BODMAN, 2007, $100,000

    For capacity building activities

    ACHELIS, 2006, $75,000

    BODMAN, 2006, $75,000


  • Alliance for School Choice

    Phoenix, Arizona

    To support K-12 education reform efforts in New Jersey

    BODMAN, 2006, $25,000


  • American Council of Trustees and Alumni

    Washington, DC

    General operating support

    BODMAN, 2006, $50,000


  • Association of Small Foundations

    Washington, DC

    To support the Toolkit for Public Education Funders

    BODMAN, 2007, $5,000


  • Audubon New York

    Albany, New York

    To support the For the Birds! environmental awareness curriculum for children in grades 2-5 in New York City

    ACHELIS, 2006, $15,000


  • Bill of Rights Institute

    Arlington, Virginia

    Toward seminars for New York City public school teachers

    ACHELIS, 2006, $25,000

    For a new student website

    BODMAN, 2006, $25,000


  • Boys and Girls Harbor

    New York, New York

    To support the implementation of the Core Knowledge curriculum in the After-School and Summer Programs

    ACHELIS, 2007, $75,000


  • Center for Education Reform

    Washington, DC

    To support the Annual Survey of American Charter Schools

    ACHELIS, 2006, $25,000


  • Coalition for Educational Freedom

    Washington, DC

    Toward the creation of a state-wide school choice organization in Connecticut

    BODMAN, 2007, $50,000


  • Community Roots Charter School

    Brooklyn, New York

    For the first-year expenses of this new charter school in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn

    ACHELIS, 2006, $75,000


  • Core Knowledge Foundation

    Charlottesville, Virginia

    Toward development of the Core Knowledge Reading Program for grades K-2

    ACHELIS, 2007, $50,000

    To support a new Public Relations Initiative

    BODMAN, 2007, $50,000


  • Council for Aid to Education

    New York, New York

    To support the College Learning Assessment

    BODMAN, 2007, $100,000


  • Discovery Legacy Project

    [Fiduciary: Community Foundation of New Jersey]

    Newark, New Jersey

    For the Discovery Learning Center

    BODMAN, 2007, $15,000


  • Eagle Academy for Young Men

    New York, New York

    For the mentoring and college prep programs

    ACHELIS, 2007, $15,000


  • Early Steps

    New York, New York

    General operating support

    BODMAN, 2006, $15,000


  • East Harlem School at Exodus House

    New York, New York

    General operating support

    BODMAN, 2006, $15,000


  • East New York Preparatory Charter School

    [Fiduciary: Kid Care Network]

    New York, New York

    For the start-up and first year expenses of this new charter school in Brooklyn

    ACHELIS, 2006, $50,000


  • Education Association for Children in New York State

    Brooklyn, New York

    For K-12 education reform efforts in New York State

    ACHELIS, 2006, $15,000

    BODMAN, 2006, $15,000


  • Education Through Music

    New York, New York

    General operating support

    ACHELIS, 2007, $25,000


  • English-Speaking Union of the United States

    New York, New York

    To support the 2006 and 2007 National Shakespeare Competitions

    ACHELIS, 2006, $15,000


  • Essentials in Education

    Front Royal, Virginia

    Toward a booklet for high school history teachers and students, The British Abolitionists and Their Influence

    ACHELIS, 2007, $15,000


  • Excellent Education for Everyone

    Newark, New Jersey

    General operating support

    BODMAN, 2007, $50,000


  • Thomas B. Fordham Institute

    Washington, DC

    For a study, Who Will Save America’s Urban Catholic Schools?

    ACHELIS, 2006, $50,000


  • Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability

    Clifton Park, New York

    For a study on potential school choice reforms in New York State

    BODMAN, 2007, $10,000


  • Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    In support of the Policy Reform Project for free speech on college campuses

    BODMAN, 2007, $50,000


  • Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation

    Indianapolis, Indiana

    For a study, The High Social Cost of Low Graduation Rates in New Jersey, and related public education activities on school choice

    BODMAN, 2007, $35,000


  • Fund for American Studies

    Washington, DC

    To support the 2007 International Institute for Political and Economic Studies

    BODMAN, 2007, $15,000


  • Futures in Education Foundation

    Brooklyn, New York

    For scholarships to enable children to attend K-12 parochial schools in Brooklyn and Queens

    ACHELIS, 2006, $50,000


  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

    New York, New York

    To support the Saturday Academy of American History at the Academy of American Studies in Long Island City, and for general operating support

    BODMAN, 2006, $50,000


  • Harlem Academy

    New York, New York

    General operating support

    ACHELIS, 2007, $15,000


  • Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison

    Ossining, New York

    General operating support

    BODMAN, 2007, $25,000

  • Hyde Leadership Charter School

    Bronx, New York

    Toward the first-year expenses of this new charter school in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx

    BODMAN, 2006, $75,000


  • Inner-City Scholarship Fund

    New York, New York

    For the Be A Student’s Friend scholarship program for children attending Catholic schools in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island

    ACHELIS, 2006, $50,000


  • George Jackson Academy

    New York, New York

    General operating support

    BODMAN, 2007, $15,000


  • Leadership Prep Charter School

    Brooklyn, New York

    For the start-up and first-year expenses of this new charter school in Brooklyn

    ACHELIS, 2006, $25,000

    BODMAN, 2006, $50,000


  • Literacy Partners

    New York, New York

    Toward the Economics for Life financial literacy program

    ACHELIS, 2006, $20,000


  • Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

    New York, New York

    For a study on New York City charter schools by senior fellow Marcus Winters

    BODMAN, 2007, $50,000


  • National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

    Washington, DC

    To support the design and launch of public education campaigns on behalf of charter schools across the U.S.

    ACHELIS, 2006, $50,000


  • National Association of Scholars

    Princeton, New Jersey

    Toward a membership drive to attract young faculty members

    BODMAN, 2007, $75,000


  • National Charter School Research Project, University of Washington

    [Fiduciary: University of Washington Foundation]

    Seattle, Washington

    For a study, Inside Charter Schools: Classroom Curriculum and Innovation

    ACHELIS, 2006, $50,000


  • National Council on Teacher Quality

    Washington, DC

    For the inaugural edition of the State Teacher Policy Yearbook

    ACHELIS, 2006, $25,000

    BODMAN, 2006, $25,000


  • New Heights Academy Charter School

    New York, New York

    For the Academic Intervention Program

    ACHELIS, 2007, $15,000


  • New Jersey Charter Public Schools Association

    Trenton, New Jersey

    For the Leader-to-Leader principal mentoring program and general operating support

    BODMAN, 2007, $50,000


  • New Jersey Charter School Resource Center, Rutgers University

    [Fiduciary: Rutgers University Foundation]

    Somerset, New Jersey

    For a study, The Growth of the Charter School Movement in New Jersey

    BODMAN, 2007, $50,000


  • New York Charter Schools Association

    Albany, New York

    To support the New School Incubator Project

    BODMAN, 2007, $100,000


  • New York Theological Seminary

    New York, New York

    To support the Master of Professional Studies Program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility

    ACHELIS, 2006, $25,000

    BODMAN, 2006, $50,000


  • Partnership for After School Education

    New York, New York

    For a study, Reframing Expectations of Afterschool Programs, by Dr. Robert Halpern of the Erikson Institute

    BODMAN, 2006, $50,000


  • Philanthropy Roundtable

    Washington, DC

    To launch the Higher Education Breakthrough Group

    ACHELIS, 2006, $25,000

    BODMAN, 2006, $25,000

    To update and revise Jump-starting the Charter School Movement: A Guide for Donors

    BODMAN, 2007, $10,000


  • Reading Excellence and Discovery Foundation

    New York, New York

    General operating support

    BODMAN, 2007, $20,000


  • Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children

    Newark, New Jersey

    Toward scholarships for low-income children to attend parochial schools in Newark

    BODMAN, 2007, $75,000


  • South Bronx Classical Charter School

    Bronx, New York

    For the first-year expenses of this new charter school in Mott Haven

    ACHELIS, 2006, $75,000


  • Steinhardt School of Education, New York University

    New York, New York

    For a book on Mayor Bloomberg's education reforms in New York City, by Professor Diane Ravitch

    BODMAN, 2006, $75,000


  • StudentNewsDaily.com

    Old Bridge, New Jersey

    General operating support

    BODMAN, 2007, $5,000


  • Teach for America, New York City

    New York, New York

    To support expansion efforts in New York City

    ACHELIS, 2006, $50,000


  • TEAM Academy

    Newark, New Jersey

    To support the acquisition and renovation of a building for the new Rise Academy Charter School

    BODMAN, 2006, $100,000

    For renovation and equipment expenses of the new Newark Collegiate Academy High School

    BODMAN, 2007, $100,000


  • Uncommon Schools

    New York, New York

    For the start-up and first-year expenses of the Kings Collegiate Charter School in Brooklyn

    ACHELIS, 2007, $75,000

    For the start-up and first-year expenses of the North Star Academy Elementary School in Newark

    BODMAN, 2007, $75,000


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