(PRWEB) January 16, 2013
Building Excellent Schools (BES) and Pacific Charter School Development (PCSD) are pleased to announce a $300,000 operating grant and $4 million Program Related Investment (PRI) from the Walton Family Foundation to help secure affordable and accessible facilities for BES’ high-performing network of charter schools. Lack of facilities is a critical barrier to the growth and sustainability of high-quality charter schools.
Through the grant, PCSD will support BES Fellows in underserved urban communities across the United States by identifying and evaluating potential school sites and supporting the planning process to secure and prepare the facilities. In addition, PCSD will finance and build permanent facilities for schools in the Excellent Schools Network (ESN) – the highest performing schools founded by BES Fellows - allowing them to grow, replicate and serve more children.
The Walton investment will fuel the creation of new, high-quality charter schools in Los Angeles, as well as regions outside California, including Memphis, Boston and Washington, D.C. This marks the first time that PCSD will support the development of new charter school facilities outside of California.
Eli Kennedy, PCSD’s President & CEO, commented on the partnership: “We are proud to partner with an incredible organization like BES and its Fellows and look forward to helping these schools reach more children.”
“Attaining an affordable school facility is one of the biggest hurdles to starting and operating a high performing charter school,” said Ed Kirby, deputy director of the Walton Family Foundation’s Systemic K-12 Education Reform efforts. “Building Excellent Schools and Pacific Charter School Development are two of the very best operators in the national charter school movement. We’re looking forward to some big results from this partnership.”
About Pacific Charter School Development
PCSD is one of the largest developers of charter school facilities in the nation, having leveraged $40M in philanthropic equity, secured $140M in additional financing, and built 43 schools on 35 campuses serving over 17,000 students. PCSD’s mission is to build low-cost facilities for high quality operators. PCSD allows constituent charter schools to concentrate their time, money and efforts on classroom instruction rather than classroom construction. Learn more about PCSD at http://www.pacificcharter.org.
About Building Excellent Schools
Building Excellent Schools (BES) is a trailblazing nonprofit that raises the quality of urban charter schools by supporting entrepreneurial individuals to design, found, lead, and sustain schools in underserved communities. The flagship BES program is the BES Fellowship—a rigorous, yearlong, comprehensive training program in urban charter school creation and leadership which has led to the establishment of 54 schools in twenty cities in twelve states as well as the District of Columbia. In both starting a school and sustaining a school, BES holds the core belief that academic performance drives every element of a school, including design, leadership, culture, decisions, and governance. Learn more about BES at http://www.buildingexcellentschools.org.
About the Walton Family Foundation
Driven by the urgent need to dramatically raise student achievement, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, the Walton Family Foundation has invested more than $1 billion to date in initiatives that expand parental choice and equal opportunity in education. Empowering parents to choose quality schools, regardless of type - traditional public, private or public charter school - will help spur the bold transformation of our national K-12 system of public education. Our nation’s children will only reach their potential in today’s global economy by having access to a high-quality, publicly funded education. Visit the foundation at: