Vouchers: Who's Behind It All?
Comments from Annie: Is it time to revisit this AASA report on vouchers?
Maybe just take a look (again) at the list of contributors, the individuals, the businesses and the foundations who continue to invest heavily in this and other "reform"-related opportunities.
Vouchers: Who's Behind It All?
I. Background Information
A. Federal Level
Providing government funds for religious and private schools has been an issue for many decades. State legislatures have waged ongoing battles. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, created in 1965, had to finesse the church/state issue by allowing Title I help to children from religious schools, as long as the instruction was in a "neutral setting," with both the setting and the Title I teachers provided by the local school district.
Up until June 27, 2002, it was always clear: The government shall not pay for religious and private school education of any kind at the elementary and secondary school level.
However, the June 27 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, gave the green light to Ohio's voucher program, which allows state funds to be sent to religious schools for the education of some children from poor families in Cleveland.
Congress has, on many occasions, addressed vouchers and federal tax credits for tuition payments made by parents for the education of their child in a religious and/or private school. The "high water mark" for backers of public schools came in the U.S. Senate in 1983.
In November of that year Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kansas, offered a tuition tax credit amendment, which would have provided "tax credits for tuition payments to private elementary and secondary schools for dependents under age 20," according to the official Senate record. The Dole amendment, offered to an unrelated "Olympic Duty Suspension" bill, called for private school tuition credits of $100 in 1983, rising to $300 in 1985.
Dole's proposal was soundly defeated 59-38. Forty-five percent (24 senators) of his Republican colleagues voted with 80 percent (35 senators) of Democratic senators to kill the tax credit.
The release of the Reagan Administration's A Nation at Risk that same year, despite its questionable methods and findings, renewed hope for those who wished to advance the cause of government aid to private and religious schools. The emergence of the religious right, coupled with anti-public school Secretaries of Education Bennett and Alexander, ensured annual battles over aid to private elementary and secondary schools, which were championed under the guise of "choice."
[An interesting side note: AASA was told directly by President Reagan's chief political aide that A Nation at Risk was "a little report gathering dust" in the Education Department, and was released with great fanfare, because Reagan had no education plan for his second term campaign.]
In Washington the battle is unending. A Nation at Risk convinced the public that "failing" schools are synonymous with public schools. Reporters, politicians and voucher advocates all use the phrase "failing public schools," without being challenged to produce concrete evidence of such a trend.
The U.S. House of Representatives in May of 2001 defeated two voucher amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The Senate rejected a voucher demonstration amendment in June.
New Line of Attack: Vouchers in D.C.
In January 2004, the GOP-controlled Congress and pro-voucher President George Bush won a stunning victory to create the first federally sponsored voucher program in the District of Columbia.
Much to the dismay of the education community, the Senate, when it passed the Omnibus Appropriations bill, also approved the first ever federal voucher program and included $14 million to operate it.
The voucher scheme will be administered by an entity chosen by the U.S. Education Department for the benefit of a select number of children, who seek to attend private, mostly religious, schools in the District of Columbia. U.S. Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, a strong proponent of vouchers, had this reaction: "I hope that the D.C. experiment will be a model for the nation, showing how opportunity scholarships can not only help the children who take advantage of them, but also will force the public schools themselves to improve as they compete for students."
U.S. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., in describing the process used to force passage of the D.C. voucher bill, said, "The great majority of D.C. elected officials and residents" opposed the voucher, "refusing to cave in to the Republican search for a [local school] district that would accept" vouchers. Holmes-Norton noted that when the GOP and Paige failed to win over D.C. school authorities, "they used our denial of representation in the Senate, where vouchers would have been disposed of as a matter of senatorial courtesy, to force vouchers on the city."
Reaction to the Paige/GOP ploy among voucher advocates was swift, with Center for Education Reform President Jeanne Allen quoted in The Washington Post, "This is the biggest education accomplishment in this city in 20 years."
The District of Columbia voucher program was enacted into law in January 2004 and remains in operation.
Despite the Supreme Court's 2002 ruling in Zellman v Harris that the Cleveland voucher program is constitutional, the D.C. plan is likely to be tested in court, because the D.C. voucher would be a federal private school voucher law with impact on a single, specific, unique, federally-controlled local government.
B. State Level
The approach to states by voucher advocates has been two-pronged.
The first is direct legislation by the state's governor and the legislature. The leading examples of this movement are former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson and his Milwaukee voucher program, Florida Governor Jeb Bush's statewide "A+ Opportunity Scholarship Program," and former Ohio Governor George Voinovich's "pilot" voucher program for children in Cleveland in 1995 and 1999. Each was challenged in court.
The Wisconsin program continues to operate. In 1998 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the Wisconsin Supreme Court's constitutionality ruling.
In Florida the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled August 16, 2004 to uphold the Leon County Circuit Court's August 5, 2002 decision, which found the state's 1999 "Opportunity Scholarship" (OSP) vouchers program unconstitutional. The OSP allows students from "failing" public schools to attend, at state expense, the public or private school of their choice. Writing for the majority in the 2004 2-1 Court of Appeal decision, Justice William Van Nortwick, stated, "There is no dispute in this case that state funds are paid to sectarian schools through the OSP vouchers. Thus, we hold the OSP unconstitutional under the no-aid provision to the extent that the OSP authorizes state funds to be paid to sectarian schools." Van Nortwick noted the pertinent section of the state constitution, Article I, Religious Freedom states: "No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution." Comparisons to the US Constitution's language on religious freedom are not applicable, Van Nortwick wrote, "there is no analogue to this (Florida's Article I) provision in the federal constitution." This latest ruling is expected to be appealed, again, to the Florida Supreme Court.
In a different voucher twist Florida in 1999 established "McKay Scholarship" vouchers, which allow dissatisfied parents of children with disabilities to use state and local special education funds to take their child to virtually any religious or private school that will accept them. As of August 2002, 4,000 Florida students receive McKay vouchers.
On December 20, 1999, the Federal District Court in Ohio found the Cleveland plan unconstitutional. The 6th District Court of Appeals agreed in February 2001. However, that ruling, as mentioned above, was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2002. Consequently, the Cleveland program is now officially sanctioned.
The second is the ballot initiative to create statewide voucher programs. Not one state, of the nine where initiatives were attempted, has voted to enact the voucher. In each case since 1978 the voucher ballot initiatives were crushed by at least two-thirds of the vote. The most recent state voucher balloting took place in 2000 in Michigan and California. The Michigan proposal went down 69 percent to 31 percent; California defeated the proposal 71 percent to 29 percent.
II. Purpose of This Paper
As a guide to help educators and the public understand this movement, AASA has conducted research on the organizations and individuals who are major boosters of vouchers, as identified online and by Michigan and California initiative campaign contribution records.
We will explore the contributors first.
III. The Contributors
The following individuals contributed to the most recent voucher referenda, which occurred in California and Michigan in November 2000:
A. Michigan: Kids First! Yes!
DeVos Family (affiliated with Amway) $4,750,000
John Walton (affiliated with Wal-Mart) $2,000,000
American Education Reform Council $500,000
(Milwaukee-based, backed by John Walton)
Sidney Jansma (Grand Rapids businessman) $470,000
Compuware (Detroit computer services co.) $361,374
Tom Monaghan (former CEO, Domino's Pizza) $350,000
B. California: Prop. 38 Yes Committee, School Vouchers
Timothy Draper, President, Draper Associates, Inc.
The Timothy Draper Living Trust
Redwood City, California $23,386,553
William Draper III, Venture Capitalist
Potomac, Maryland $2,044,730
Jerry Perenchio Living Trust
Partner, Chartwell Partners LLC
Los Angeles, California $1,040,000
Self, Bryan & Edwards
Menlo Park, California $142,166
President, Salem Communications
Camarillo, California $100,000
Howard H. Leach
Investor, Leach Capital LLC
San Francisco, California $100,000
Chairman, Circuit City Stores, Inc.
Richmond, Virginia $100,000
William T. Huston
Chairman, Watson Land Co.
Los Angeles, California $41,000
CEO/Chairman, Jefferies Group
Pacific Palisades, California $36,652
C. About the Contributors
The major players in the pro voucher initiative movement are clearly Timothy Draper, Dick DeVos, John Walton, and Jerry Perenchio.
Draper is a venture capitalist who made his fortune investing in more than 150 technology companies. California's Proposition 38 became his personal crusade, on which he poured more than $23 million of his own money in a futile attempt win its passage. Draper's father, William Draper, likewise a venture capitalist since 1962, donated more than $2 million to his son's California voucher cause. The elder Draper was appointed chair of the U.S. Export-Import Bank in 1981 and returned to the business world in 1995, according to the Draper Richards web site.
DeVos, head of Amway (annual sales * $5.7 billion), and former CEO of the Orlando Magic NBA basketball franchise, is the Chair of "Kids First! Yes!" A former member of the State Board of Education in Michigan, he and his wife, Betsy, "co-chair the Education Freedom Fund that partnered with the Children's Scholarship Fund (CSF) in 1999 to award over 3,700 scholarships to under-privileged children in the state," according to Southwest Michigan First.
Wal-Mart (annual sales * $191 billion) heir John Walton's Walton Family Foundation played a key role in 2000-2001 widely-broadcast voucher media ads. The conservative journal, Human Events reported Feb.12, 2001, "With $900,000 from the Walton Family Foundation, BAEO [Black Alliance for Educational Options] was able to launch an ad campaign before the elections." Walton is also on the board of the American Education Reform Council, a Milwaukee-based foundation, which gave $500,000 to the Michigan voucher campaign.
The Norman Lear backed People for the American Way (PFAW) observes that the private voucher Children's Scholarship Fund joined forces with CEO America (see below under "The Organizations") with "a $50 million startup gift from John Walton. The self-described purpose of CEO America," continues PFAW, "is to work for publicly funded vouchers…From the beginning, CEO America has leveraged private funds as a means to an end; its ultimate goal is the passage of laws that mandate spending public dollars for private and religious schools."
Perenchio is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Univision Communications (annual sales * $864 million), a Spanish-language television broadcasting company.
Also notable on the referenda contribution lists are Sidney Jansma, president and CEO of Wolverine Gas and Oil Co. (annual sales * $11.0 million); Compuware Corp. (Peter Karmanos, Jr. chairman and CEO, annual sales * $2.01 billion); Tom Monaghan (former CEO Domino's Pizza, annual sales * $3.54 billion); Edward Astinger, president of Salem Communications (1999 revenues * $93.5 million, operates 76 Christian-oriented radio stations); and Richard Sharp, Chairman of Circuit City Stores, Inc. (annual sales * $12.959 billion).
IV. The Organizations
The following organizations provide ongoing information and support to state and local pro-voucher advocates:
American Education Reform Council, aka
American Education Reform Foundation
Past-President: Kevin Teasley (now with GEO, see below)
Board Member: John Walton
Contact: Susan Mitchell
Called "voucher front group," which has benefited from the "largess" of the Walton Family Foundation, by American's United for Separation of Church and State in February 2001.
Supports "fund[ing] of local organizations trying to educate and advocate school choice programs in their communities" through public information campaigns. Was active in Colorado voucher campaign. [Source: Versant, a Milwaukee marketing and advertising firm.]
Contribution: $300,000 from Bradley Foundation in 1998.
Center for Education Reform
Jeanne Allen, Founder and President
Founded "to provide support and guidance to parents and teachers, community and civic groups, policymakers and grassroots leaders and all who are working to bring fundamental reforms to their schools," with emphasis on charter schools and parental choice.
Supporters: JM Foundation $20,000; Carthage Foundation $25,000; Scaife Family Foundation $198,600; Olin Foundation $260,000; Bradley Foundation $156,860.
"Lead Sponsor" for 2001 charter/choice conference: School Specialty, Inc., Appleton, Wisconsin (annual sales * $639.3 million) "We are the largest marketer of non-textbook educational supplies and furniture to pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. … Our 'top down' marketing approach targets school administrators at the state, regional and local levels …"
Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO)
Howard Fuller, President
Established: August 24, 2000
Mission: "to actively support parental choice to empower families and increase educational opportunities for Black children."
"Past & Current Contributors": the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; the Walton Family Foundation $900,000; VCJ Foundation; Helen Bader Foundation, Inc.; Milton & Rose Friedman Foundation; Fleck Foundation; Baur Foundation; Q3 Company; American Education Reform Council.
Activities: Originated and is conducting a nationwide media campaign in support of vouchers.
Institute for Transformational Learning
(Genesis for and supporter of Black Alliance for Educational Options)
Howard Fuller, Founder
Focus: "is on improving academic achievement in urban America through expanded educational options." Site slogan: "Parental school choice is widespread - unless you're poor."
Grant received: Bradley Foundation $1.2 million
"Past and Current Funders and Contributors": American Education Reform Council; Annie E., Casey Foundation; Archdiocese of Milwaukee; Big Picture Company; Charter Friends National Network; Elizabeth Brinn Foundation; Fleck Foundation; Helen Bader Foundation, Inc.; Joyce Foundation; Kearney Foundation, Inc.; Kinship Foundation; Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation; Pieper Electric Inc. (annual sales * $65 million); Q3 Company; the Bardwell Charitable Foundation, the Danforth Foundation; the Greater Milwaukee Education Trust; the Johnson Foundation; the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Nabers Charitable Foundation, the Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation; the Walton Family Foundation, VCJ Foundation; W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Wisconsin Department of Commerce, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, Inc.; C. Edward McVaney, Elaine Sachs Burke, Anonymous Donors.
Activities: Collects, researches and disseminates information on tax-supported school choice programs.
Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation (GEO)
Founder and Director: Kevin Teasley
Purpose: "We provide information to the public regarding efforts to improve and/or reform k-12 education through increased educational opportunities" such as "fact-finding trips to areas of successful reform…"
Activities: takes urban leaders, parents, teachers and state legislators on fact-finding trips to Milwaukee to look at a voucher program in action. Follows these trips with an intensive series of forums with key speakers talking about the issue and relating it to urban leaders. [Source: Forbes and schoolchoices.org] Cost of hosting New Mexico legislators on such a mission in 1999: "$28,000 to $32,000 … according to Teasley." [Source: The Santa Fe New Mexican]
"This is an extremely important mission and GEO is particularly deserving of the generosity of philanthropists." [Source: schoolchoices.org]
Benefactors: Friedman Foundation, Eli Lilly pharmaceuticals, John Walton (Wal-Mart heir and board member), the DeVos Family (Amway), Edward McVaney (founder of software vendor J.D. Edwards), Christel DeHaan (widow of Resort Condominiums Int'l. founder Jon DeHaan). [Source: Forbes]
Operating Expenses: $1.3 million (2000)
The Following Comprise "SchoolReformers.com"
Citizens for Educational Freedom (CEF)
St. Louis, Missouri
Mae Duggan, President
"We support policies which will allocate a fair share of educational tax dollars for each child to take to the school their parents choose, while protecting parents and schools from undue government regulation and control."
The Henry Hazlitt Foundation
Chris Whitten, Founder and Executive Director
Founded: 1997 with merger of Free-Market.Com and the Free Market Society of Chicago
"Dedicated to the future of freedom."
Grant received: Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation $25,000.
The Heartland Institute
Joseph L. Bast, President
Dave Padden, Founder
Mission: "to be its customers' (state and national elected officials, journalists and its members) fastest, most convenient, most comprehensive, and most reliable source of public policy information. … Part of our mission is to objectively scrutinize government programs and their funding." The Institute is funded by 41 foundations, 132 corporations and several hundred individuals. [Note: the Institute says "our loudest critics" refer to it as a "front for our corporate donors." Heartland says it produces "middle-of-the-road free market research" and adds: "the pervasive liberal bias among foundation executives has been well documented."]
Note: People for the American Way writes that a Heartland Institute backed newsletter, which advocates "… school vouchers, privatization and deregulation," is sent to "every state legislator in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as 1,200 media centers."
Grants received: Olin Foundation $40,000; Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation $17,578; Bradley Foundation $65,000; Sarah Scaife Foundation $300,000; Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation $20,000.
(the "product" of the three previous organizations)
• To introduce people to the market-based school reform movement.
• To enable school reform advocates to become activists, by giving them opportunities to become involved.
• To empower school reform activists so that they can be more effective.
"Key Supporters": the Bahr Company, the Grover Hermann Foundation, the Keller Family Foundation; the Margulis family, the Resnik Family, the Barre Seid Foundation and Superior Beverage Company (annual sales * $9 million).
Children First: The Children's Educational Opportunity Foundation of America (CEO AMERICA)
Fritz Steiger, President (former Wal-Mart executive)
Objectives: "To assure that every child receives a good education in a safe environment … by assisting cities to start private voucher programs," and to "[build] a coalition of business leaders and low-income parents who will fight for the use of public monies to expand choice to parents of every boy and girl."
Supporters: Olin Foundation $150,000; Bradley Foundation $15,000; Castle Rock Foundation $100,000; Scaife Family Foundation $325,000.
Parents in Charge
New York City, NY
Ted Forstmann, Chairman and CEO
Mission: "… dedicated to informing the American people about the real problems and real possibilities in education …Our broad coalition of supporters are united under the belief that every child-regardless of race, creed or household income-deserves an equal opportunity to receive quality education and that parents should be in charge of their children's education." Refers to publicly controlled education as "one of the largest and most powerful monopolies in the world."
Board Members include: Martin Luther King III, William J. Bennett, Joseph A. Califano, Robert Strauss, Henry A. Kissinger, Andrew Young, George P. Shultz, Erskine Bowles, Jack Kemp, U.S. Sen. John McCain.
Funded "primarily by our chairman, Ted Forstmann" (founding general partner, Forstmann Little & Co., a private investment firm with annual sales * $25 million, "long … recognized as a preeminent acquirer and owner of businesses." Source: frostmannlittle.com).
Activities: National advertising campaign for school vouchers.
The Heritage Foundation
Paul Weyrich, Founder
Mission: "to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense." On education: "Only reform that uses school choice, greater accountability and less federal regulation to boost academic achievement will work. This means taking such actions as the following: Use education savings accounts, school choice, and tax credits to return power and dollars to parents, teachers, and principals."
Originated "with funding from Joseph Coors…and Richard Mellon-Scaife." [Source: watch.pair.com]
Grants received: "$1,000,000 and above": The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation, Robert H. Krieble Family, John M. Olin Foundation, Honorable William E. Simon, Jay and Betty Van Andel Foundation. "$100,000 and above": Aequus Institute, Douglas and Sarah Allison, Amway Corporation, Ambassador William H.G. FitzGerald, Linda and Edwin J. Feulner, Jr., Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Dr. and Mrs. Jay S. Reibel, Honorable Frank J. Walton Family.
Institute for Justice
Clint Bolick and William Mellor, Founders
"Profile: Through strategic litigation, training, communication and outreach, the Institute…advances a rule of law under which individuals can control their own destinies as free and responsible members of society. [The Institute] litigates to secure economic liberty, school choice, private property rights, freedom of speech and other vital individual liberties…" Describes itself as the "alternative" to the ACLU.
Supporters: Bradley Foundation $1,015,000; Olin Foundation $875,000; Scaife Family Foundation $35,000; Sarah Scaife Foundation $545,000; ClaudeR. Lambe Charitable Foundation $706,000; Castle Rock Foundation $175,000.
Benefactor: the Koch Family foundations $500,000.
V. The Foundations
It appears a handful of major foundations play a significant role in supporting the voucher groups listed previously in this report. This section will take a more thorough look-as best can be obtained from research sources-of the nature of these philanthropic entities.
Helen Bader Foundation
Parent: Helen Bader, co-founder of Aldrich Chemical Company
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Total 1999 approved grants: $3,100,000
Causes supported: Alzheimer's research, education in the greater Milwaukee area, economic development in Milwaukee, children and youth in Israel, Jewish life and learning. [Source: Helen Bader Foundation, Inc.]
The Bradley Foundation (also known as the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation)
Parent: Heirs of founders of the Allen-Bradley Company, which was sold to Rockwell International for $1.651 billion in 1985
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Assets: $700,000,000 ($14 million prior to Rockwell sale)
Total 1998 grants: $32,000,000
Causes supported: affirmative action reversal, reform of Social Security, welfare reform, privatization of public education through school vouchers. [Source: Media Transparency]
Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation for School Choice
Parent: Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for economic science; senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution since 1977; Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1946 to 1976; member of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1988 and received the National Medal of Science the same year.
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Grants awarded: unknown
Grant received: Walton Family Foundation $100,000; Sarah Scaife Foundation $300,000; Bradley Foundation $1,250.
Purpose: "production and placement of a world class media campaign on behalf of school choice…Educating the public through forums…and building broad-based coalitions to promote and sustain school choice efforts in targeted states…Supporting litigation efforts on behalf of established school choice programs…" Foundation's site notes: "America's system was not founded in public education." [Source: Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation]
Grover Hermann Foundation
Parent: Grover Hermann, the late chairman of American Marietta Company, subsequently merged to form Martin Marietta Corporation, "a leading producer of construction materials, chemical products, missiles and electronic equipment."
Location: Western Springs, Illinois
Grants in 1998: $724,000
Purpose: "dedicated to the improvement of our governmental, economic and social systems" by promoting "values of individual liberty, a strong work ethic, free-market competition and limited government." [Source: Grover Hermann Foundation]
Koch Family Foundations: Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Parent: Heirs of Fred G. Koch, a founder of the John Birch Society [Source: Media Transparency]
Operated by David and Charles Koch, owners of Koch Industries (annual sales * $26.7 billion from oil, natural gas, and land management)
Charles Koch Foundation Assets: $34.15 million
Charles Koch Foundation Grants: $9.2 million
David Koch Foundation Assets: unknown
David Koch Foundation Grants: $18.65 million
Claude R. Lambe Assets and Grants: unknown
Purpose: to "minimize the role of government and to maximize the role of private economy and to maximize personal freedoms." [Source: W. John Moore, "Wichita Pipeline," National Journal, 5/16/92]
John M. Olin Foundation, Inc.
Parent: Olin Corp.
Location: New York
Total 1999 grants: $19,000,000
Causes supported: "projects that reflect or are intended to strengthen the economic, political and cultural institutions upon which the American heritage of constitutional government and private enterprise is based … [and] … study of the connections between economic and political freedoms, and the cultural heritage that sustains them." [Source: John M. Olin Foundation, Inc.]
Scaife Family Foundation
Parent: Richard Mellon Scaife, heir to the Mellon industrial, oil and banking businesses.
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Supports: "programs that strengthen families, address issues surrounding the health and welfare of women and children, promote animal welfare…" [Source: Scaife Family Foundation]
Note: Scaife also controls the Sarah Scaife Foundation with 1999 assets of $396,000,000 and the Carthage Foundation with 1999 assets of $19,000,000.
The Walton Family Foundation, Inc.
Parent: Sam M. Walton, founder of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Location: Bentonville, Arkansas
Total 1999 grants: $66,000,000
Causes supported: "the Foundation's main focus is systemic reform in education," which is primarily accomplished through "grants to charter schools and charter school developers" for planning, start-up and expansion/sustaining. [Source: The Walton Family Foundation, Inc.]
The public ballot initiatives for publicly-supported private school vouchers are financed primarily by a handful of very wealthy individual donors. However, the ongoing drive for vouchers is sustained by a variety of individual donors, businesses and foundations. Their funds nurture the voucher movement primarily through their support of at least nine national organizations, each of which advocates for the voucher cause and spreads its message via the Internet, media campaigns, listserves, court challenges and action networks. Given the wealth behind each voucher group, we can expect the voucher movement to continue to prosper.
Updated October 21, 2005
The American Association of School Administrators
Nicholas J. Penning
Senior Legislative Analyst
Note: Annual sales (*) source is Gale Group, a Thomson Corporation Company.
This document is considered a work in progress, and will be updated periodically, as new information is gathered.
Nicholas J. Penning
The American Association of School Administrators
INDEX OF RESEARCH THAT COUNTS