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Walton Family Foundation Pledges $1 Billion to Charter Schools

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The Walton Family Foundation says it plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years to support new charter schools and bolster current programs, according to the Associated Press.

That pledge matches what the foundation has poured into charter schools and other K-12 initiatives over the past 20 years, including $385 million to help launch charter schools in low-income communities.

This newest round of funding will be targeted toward opening new schools in low-income communities that the foundation has already invested in and developing talent pipelines.

The Walton Family Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton's heirs and has long been a major supporter of charter schools and other forms of school choice. Last fall, the foundation announced new, but much smaller investments in a new area for its education philanthropy: research on the measurement of noncognitive traits such as grit and persistence in classroom settings. 

(The Walton Family Foundation provides grant support for Education Week's coverage of school choice and parent-empowerment issues.)

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