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Seeding Opportunity

December 17, 2020
Starting and Growing Great Schools 2015-2020

A great school can put opportunity and a self-determined life in reach for every child, especially those most in need. A great school can make social, economic and personal fulfillment a reality for every child. And a great school can provide every child with the know-how and experience to confidently navigate life’s complexities, recognizing that the path to success looks different for every individual.

That is why for more than 30 years the Walton Family Foundation has worked in partnership with families, educators, communities and visionary leaders to start and grow more great schools that meet students’ fundamental needs, spark a lifelong passion for learning and put them on the path to a fulfilling, productive and joyful life. This retrospective shares what we’ve learned from these remarkable stakeholders.

When Sam and Helen Walton established the Walton Family Foundation, they sought to create equitable access to opportunity for people and communities. From day one, giving reflected the belief — now reaffirmed by three decades of experience — that often those closest to the problem are closest to the solution.

For this reason, the Walton Family Foundation has invested more than $480 million to support visionary educators and leaders across 40 states in their work to open and grow innovative schools. Now numbering more than 2,500, these district, charter and private schools are created by, for and with the communities they serve. From 2015-2020 alone, the foundation has helped more than 600 schools open that will grow to serve more than 315,000 students.

This report shares some of the learnings and successes of these schools — not simply to celebrate these achievements, but in the hope that they inform and inspire similar efforts throughout our country.

More high-quality schools, rooted in the needs of their communities and a passion for translating education into lifelong opportunity, will prepare more children for success in their future careers and in life.

Together with other philanthropies and the teachers, leaders, parents and students we serve, the Walton Family Foundation is humbled to help more children and communities achieve what our country has promised them — an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream.

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