Key Points

The Walton Family Foundation’s social-impact goals include reform of the American K-12 education system by increasing the number of highquality schools available to low-income students. One of the foundation’s signature strategies toward this end is to support charter schools.

This article presents the findings of a study that suggests the foundation’s investment approaches to charter school startups have been successful in supporting the creation of high-quality seats for low-income students. Specifically, the foundation has invested in charter schools where test-score performance has shown greater improvements than at local district schools and charter schools that have not received foundation funding.

These approaches could be incorporated by other foundations interested in investing in the creation of new schools but unsure how best to maximize the likelihood that those schools will be successful.

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