Education Funding News in Brief

Education Philanthropy Thrives With Three New Commitments

By Catherine Gewertz, Evie Blad & Stephen Sawchuk — June 12, 2018 1 min read

Three philanthropies have announced multimillion-dollar initiatives geared toward improving education in the United States and, in one instance, abroad.

Bloomberg Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s philanthropy will devote $375 million over the next five years to initiatives designed primarily to better prepare students for work or college.

Bloomberg

Philanthropies, for example, is already working on one project designed to address the issue, the American Talent Initiative. Launched in late 2016, it formed a coalition of elite colleges and universities that are working to increase their enrollments of low-income, high-achieving students. Membership began at 30 and now exceeds 100.

Bloomberg Philanthropies will also be supporting districts, cities, and states that are partnering with business to create opportunities for students.

Sanford

The second donation, a $100 million gift, will enable what’s known as the Sanford Harmony social-emotional-learning program to make its curriculum and teacher training available for free to P-6 schools nationwide.

The gift, from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, will allow the private National University to expand the program, which is already active in many schools. Sanford Harmony uses lessons and classroom strategies in five areas: diversity and inclusion; empathy and critical thinking; communication; problem-solving; and peer relationships.

Gates

Lastly, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a $68 million commitment to expand its education grantmaking abroad.

The foundation is well-known for its global-development work, particularly its efforts to combat malaria and infectious disease. But its education grantmaking has been mostly focused on the United States.

Girindre Beeharry, the foundation’s director of global education learning strategy, said in the announcement that he and others from the philanthropy spoke to teachers, academics, government officials, and parents in such countries as Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Uganda.

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A version of this article appeared in the June 13, 2018 edition of Education Week as Education Philanthropy Thrives With Three New Commitments

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