Continuing its ongoing commitment to invest in New Orleans Public Schools and high-quality public education, the Pro Bono Publico Foundation awarded 2019-20 grants totaling $1.057 million to 71 recipients.
The awards ceremony, held at the Rex den on January 11, marks the fifth consecutive year PBPF grants will total at least $1 million and brings the cumulative grant total to more than $8.3 million through 13 grant cycles.
The 71 grants benefit schools serving a total of more than 35,000 students and include 10 charter management organizations responsible for 39 schools, 20 individual charter schools and nine other schools, including several serving children with special needs. The Foundation also supports 22 organizations which provide supporting services to students and schools as well as six policy and advocacy organizations and 4 college support organizations.
The Pro Bono Publico Foundation (probonopublicofoundation.org) was formed by members of the Rex Organization (rexorganization.com) as New Orleans recovered from Hurricane Katrina. Thanks to the generosity of its donors the Foundation has been able to make a sustained and meaningful investment in support of our community’s public schools and its students, as the 2019 grant total marks the eighth consecutive year the PBPF grants exceed half a million dollars and the fifth year grants have totaled at least $1 million.
Last year, Foundation officials adjusted the grantmaking approach to allow for innovative, strategic “game-changing” grants. It became clear the greatest system-wide need was the ability to recruit and retain great teachers. New Schools for New Orleans was awarded a 3-year grant to support that work with a goal to reduce teacher attrition by 5 percentage points by the end of 2020.
“Our donors recognize the importance of this investment in our children and our future. The Foundation’s commitment as a key local funder of school transformation and our recent focus on teacher retention helps attract critical national support,” Foundation Chairman Storey Charbonnet said. “We have made tremendous progress, but we recognize that there is much work still to do to assure excellence in all of our schools. Our investment of at least $1 million dollars five years in a row, and more than $8.3 million in total, is evidence of our support toward that goal.”
The grants show the determined efforts of Rex members and the PBPF to assure all of New Orleans’ children can attend excellent schools. These schools, and organizations supporting their important work, have been the focus of PBPF’s investment, as well as the commitment of dozens of Rex members serving on their boards.