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Walton Family Foundation to Invest in Charters in California

The Walton Family Foundation, which has been a major player in promoting school choice and charters, has announced that it will devote $15 million to the development of charter schools in California.

The money will flow to the California Charter Schools Association, with a major focus being the development of charters in the Los Angeles area, officials with the philanthropy say.

The foundation says it believes the money could support the creation of 20,000 additional seats in charters for students in the city. Los Angeles is one of the Walton Family Foundation's seven target districts across the country. The others are: Albany, N.Y.; Denver; Milwaukee; Newark, N.J.; New Orleans; and Washington, D.C.

Over the past five years, the foundation says it has channeled more than $46 million to state charter school associations.

California, and southern California in particular, have been major staging grounds in the debate over charters and parental choice. One of the more visible battles played out when a group of parents in Compton, Calif., drew widespread attention for their attempts to use the state's "parent trigger" law to convert a traditional public school to a charter.

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