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Walton Family Foundation Invests $25 Million in New Charters

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The Walton Family Foundation will be investing $25 million in start-up investments to 112 new charter schools, bringing the total number of charter schools it has helped open to 1,500—or about a quarter of all charter schools over the past 17 years.

"We're both very proud of our investments in the charter space and enthusiastic about supporting choice in cities across the country as a mechanism to providing families with high-quality options," said Marc Sternberg, the director of the foundation's K-12 education reform division, in an interview with Education Week.

(The Walton Family Foundation supports some coverage of parent-empowerment issues in Education Week.)

The Bentonville, Ark.-based foundation has made some of its biggest investments in Los Angeles—where it has helped support the opening of 159 schools—and New York City, where about 125 schools have received start-up funds. 

Charter schools in New York City in particular have faced some pushback from the city' s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, but that will not change the foundation's investments, said Sternberg.

"Opposition from those in seats of influence and power is not something new to the charter sector," he said. "As long as families express demand for the high-quality options that charter schools are providing, the Walton Family Foundation will continue to make these investments, and we will continue to press for a set of policy conditions that produce good outcomes for these schools and the families they serve."

Follow @EWKatieAsh to keep up with the latest school choice-related news. 

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