The Walton Family Foundation is one of the largest funders of the public charter school movement. On the Walton Family Foundation’s 2013 990 tax return, it states that the foundation’s largest program-related investment is “to provide support for the development of charter school facilities.” Additionally the Walton Family Foundation states that its “long term commitment to Teach for America has continued to fuel the placement of talented young corps members” as teachers as well as support Teach for America’s “pipeline of educational leaders” as policy makers and elected officials.
The Walton Family Foundation came to John McDonogh Sr. High School’s library to meet with Downtown Neighborhood Improvement Association-Education Committee members in 2007. The Walton representative, Jim Blew (currently the president of Students First’s Leadership Team) told the Downtown Neighborhood Improvement Association (DNIA) that it could be eligible for up to a $200,000 grant if they proposed that they would explore the possibility of becoming a charter school in the grant application. DNIA did not apply for the grant because John McDonogh’s faculty was opposed to the charter proposition as were some vocal members of the DNIA.
In 2010, Walton gave $157 million for K-12 education; nearly $5 million went to New Orleans and of that $660,000 went to the RSD.
In 2012, the Walton Family Foundation donated $250,000 to support the: “Future Is Now school in New Orleans.” However, the grant recipient’s address was in New York, and this grant did not appear on the Future Is Now New Orleans Inc. tax returns.
The Walton Family Foundation also donated a $250,000 Start-Up Grant to Bricolage Academy.