Continuing its ongoing investments in New Orleans public schools and high-quality public education, today, the Pro Bono Publico Foundation announced its commitment to making $1,500,000 in grants to support Greater New Orleans schools and education during the 2021-2022 school year.
The foundation’s commitment to making $1,500,000 in grants this year is in recognition of the Rex Organization’s 150th anniversary of its founding in 1872. So far this cycle, the foundation has made grants totaling nearly $1,000,000 to 78 recipients.
This year’s award announcement marked the seventh consecutive year the foundation’s grants totaled at least $1,000,000 and brings the cumulative grant total to significantly more than $10,000,000 through 15 grant cycles. Based on the $1,500,000 commitment for this year, $1,000,000 will go toward operational grants, and $500,000 will go toward strategic innovation grants.
Most of the foundation’s funding has been in the form of operational grants that serve to support the important work being done in our schools. Those grants provide school leaders additional funds to do what they would not otherwise be able to do, allowing them to further enrich their students’ experience.
More recently, the foundation created a Strategic Innovation Fund designed to make larger and sometimes multi-year strategic grants aimed at addressing some of the more pressing challenges or high-leverage opportunities. The foundation’s strategic grants to-date have been a technology grant to assure all students could participate in remote learning during the pandemic and the multi-year grant to New Schools for New Orleans to assure our city’s charter schools attract and retain excellent leaders and teachers. The foundation anticipates further commitments to support closing the learning gap that has widened with the pandemic.
“The Pro Bono Publico Foundation’s donors, as well as other local foundations we partner with, recognize the importance of this investment in our children and our future,” said Merritt Lane, a member of the foundation’s board. Lane continued, “We have made tremendous progress, but we recognize there is much work still to do to ensure excellence in all of our schools. Consistent with the Rex Organization’s motto Pro Bono Publico, and for the benefit of New Orleans’ school children, we are very pleased to make commitments of $1,500,000 this year in recognition of Rex’s 150th anniversary.”