Public Charter Startup Grants

In order to receive a Walton Family Foundation (WFF) Public Charter Startup Grant funding, an applicant must complete each stage of our grant process.  The application process is demanding and time consuming, so please review all of the information on the website before beginning the application process.

Walton Family Foundation public startup grants

To qualify for a WFF Public Charter Startup Grant, school developers must meet our minimum criteria and draw a majority of students from one of our sixteen target districts. Please review the initial criteria section below and then complete the online eligibility questionnaire. 

A WFF program officer or grant partner will determine if an applicant qualifies for the startup grant program.  Eligible applicants will receive a referral to the WFF Public Charter Startup Grant Program and an invitation to submit a proposal. Proposals will be reviewed by WFF partners and staff. Proposals that demonstrate a strong potential for delivering excellent academic results for K-12 students, will be invited for an interview. 

Initial Criteria

  • Demonstrate strong potential for delivering excellent academic results for K-12 students, as measured by standardized achievement tests;
  • Serve significant low-income student populations; 
  • Not represent a for-profit entity; 
  • Currently be in a "startup" mode which is up to 15 months before filing for a charter through the school's first year of operations; and
  • Draw a majority of its students from one of our targeted districts (see below).

Eligibility rules for virtual schools are slightly different.

Current grantees must be up-to-date on all Walton Family Foundation reporting requirements.

In addition, a credit report will be run on applicants for Pre-Authorization Startup Grants without a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS to ensure they meet WFF credit standards.

Targeted Districts for Public Charter School Grants

Only public charter schools drawing a majority of their students from these districts may apply for Walton Family Foundation funds.

Arkansas: Any District
Michigan: Detroit Public Schools
Arizona: Phoenix Metro* [Map]
Minnesota: Minneapolis Public Schools
California: Los Angeles Charter Region [Map]
Massachusetts: Boston Public Schools
Colorado: Denver Public Schools
New York: Albany Public Schools; Harlem Districts 4 & 5
Georgia: Atlanta Public Schools Tennessee: Memphis City Proper
Illinois: Chicago Public Schools Washington, D.C.: District of Columbia Public Schools
Indiana: Indianapolis Public Schools Wisconsin: Milwaukee Public Schools
Louisiana: Orleans Parish

* We define the Phoenix metro to include only the Phoenix Union High School District and the 13 elementary school districts that feed into it:  Alhambra, Balsz, Cartwright, Creighton, Isaac, Laveen, Madison, Murphy, Osborn, Phoenix, Riverside, Roosevelt and Wilson.