In 2015, the foundation supported 100 new charter school startups with more than $20 million in grants. These grants represent our investment in the future of communities — in the ideas, approaches and education entrepreneurs who have a passion to serve and prepare the next generation to succeed in college, in jobs and in life.
Our startup grants are an integral part of our strategic plan, through which we plan to give $1 billion over five years to improve K-12 outcomes for all students by broadening access to high-quality educational choices. We invite you to read an overview or watch this video to learn more.
Over the last year, we helped proven charter operators expand, and we also supported the creation of dozens of independent charters — schools like the Friendship Public Charter Schools in Washington, D.C., which offers college-level courses alongside career academies, and the Castlemont Community Transformation Schools in Oakland, California, which offers a "high-quality cradle-to-career pathway,” designed to put children on a good trajectory early on and to work with families and the community to address students' needs. We support schools of all types and approaches; what unites them is their promise to create new, high-quality opportunities.
Our 2015 grants build on a long legacy: Since 1997, we have invested more than $385 million in 2,110 new public charter schools -- about a quarter of all charters nationally. This past year, we supported more than one in five of the nearly 500 new charters that opened nationally.
We are inspired by the ideas and passion of our startup grantees, and we’re determined to do all we can to help them succeed.