BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 28, 2011 -- Today the Walton Family Foundation announced investments totaling more than $157 million in education reform initiatives for 2010 – a $23 million increase over 2009, in which education reform grants totaled $134 million... Having invested more than $1 billion in education reform, the Walton Family Foundation is the largest donor to initiatives that support parental choice and competition within education. -- PR NewswireWalton money focuses on seven regions throughout the nation that serve high concentrations of low-income families. They include Albany, Denver, East and South Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Newark and Washington, D.C. The foundation started investing in New Orleans schools following Hurricane Katrina, beginning in 2006 – helping create a school system where 70 % of public school students currently attend privately managed charter schools.
In D.C., the Walton Foundation was one of Michelle Rhee's largest patrons while she was chancellor. They threatened to pull out their "investment" from D.C. when Rhee was fired. But the district continues to be the biggest target of the Walton's to a tune of about $16 million/year.
Other "strategic" Walton investments include:
• Teach For America $16,652,436
• Charter School Growth Fund $12,533,526
• DC Public Education Fund $10,000,000
• KIPP Foundation $8,650,000
• California Charter Schools Assoc. $3,940,652