Behind the Headline: New Fund Aims to Grow Quality Private Schools

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New Fund Aims to Grow Quality Private Schools
7/1/15 | redefinED

Behind the Headline
Creativity, Cartels, and the Supply Side of Choice-Based Reform
4/10/15 | Education Next blog

A small group of philanthropists and investors are founding a new philanthropic venture known as the Drexel Fund  aimed at creating  new high-quality private schools for 50,000 low- and middle-income students over the next decade. As explained by Travis Pillow, the goal is to create something like the venture philanthropy funds that have helped charter school networks expand.

Pillow quotes Rob Birdsell, a co-founder of the fund

We are very much of the mindset that if it’s great, the school should be serving more kids and it should expand. If someone has a great school, why should their growth be limited? Let’s get creative. They need funding to expand and serve more students and families.

Birdsell is the former leader of the Cristo Rey Network, notes Pillow, “a group of Catholic schools that has won accolades for an organizational model that resembles a high-impact charter school network, with a unique work-study program and a mission to target low-income students.”

Earlier this year, Rick Hess mused about the lack of appreciation for the supply side of choice-based reform in “Creativity, Cartels, and the Supply Side of Choice-Based Reform.”

For more about how Cristo Rey schools work, please read ” How Private Schools Adapt to Vouchers: Saint Martin de Porres,” a profile of a Cristo Rey school in Cleveland by Ellen Belcher.

– Education Next

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