Who Does Gates Fund for “General Operating Support”?
On its website, the Gates Foundation makes it clear that it often initiates contact with organizations to apply for specific grants and that it does not fund what it does not consider a Gates Foundation “priority.”
The assertiveness of the Gates Foundation in funding its approved version of education reform takes on head-tilting meaning when one considers the organizations that Gates funds “for general operating support.”
That means that the Gates Foundation has decided to that it wants to keep such organizations in business. So, it gives them money to stay afloat, like Dad shelling out an allowance to the kids.
There is no greater opportunity for fiscal dependence on the Gates Foundation than for an organization to receive Gates money for general operating expenses– especially in the case of repeated operating support grants. Note also that the Gates Foundation pays its grants in installments, and it sure can become easy to get used to those regularly-arriving payments to help with salaries and other expenses.
Then comes the layer of dependence known as being part of the Gates-endorsed, corporate reform “in crowd”– an open door to additional fiscal and political opportunities for those willing to travel the route of test-score-driven education privatization.
On the Gates “awarded grants” search engine, the keywords “general operating support” yielded 1000 results. Some of these are duplicates, and many are outside of the field of education.
Let us consider Gates’ grant payouts to education-styled organizations, especially those that have received more than one Gates-directed, operating-support grant or that have received the larger operating-support grants in the last few years.
Let’s start with Gates operating support to charter schools and related organizations.
Most recent on the Gates operating support payout list is the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) for $800,000 in April 2015. In March 2012 andSeptember 2010, Gates gave CCSA $1 million for general operating support each time.
Two of the largest Gates grants toward charter schools were for $3 million each, one in June 2014 and one, in June 2012, to the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (total $6 million).
The largest single grant was for $5.5 million, to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS), in November 2007.
In October 2009, NAPCS received $500,000 that was more to the point: “to provide general operating support for continued growth of the charter industry.” NAPCS’s first Gates grant for operating support was for $50,000 July 2006.
In November 2014, Gates paid $199,767 to the Puget Sound Educational Service District “to support the development and implementation of and to provide back-office support and operations support services for public charter schools in Washington state.” Also in Washington state and receiving Gates money for operations was theCesar Chavez Public Policy Charter High School ($9,700 in October 2008).
Other charter school entities receiving Gates money for operating support include theTexas Charter Schools Association ($250,000 in May 2009 and $650,000 in May 2010); the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools ($450,000 in April 2011 and $200,000 in November 2012); the Georgia Charter Schools Association($250,000 in October 2012); the Illinois Network of Charter Schools ($600,000 in September 2011), and the New York City Charter School Center ($950,000 in September 2010). Also on the list: the Charter School Leadership Council($800,000 in January 2006) and the Charter Schools Policy Institute ($200,000 in January 2006).
And now, moving beyond Gates charter school sustenance and expansion funding:
Other notable corporate reform entities receiving Gates money for operating support include Common Core State Standards (CCSS) mouthpiece, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, with an established Gates-money operating-support relationship in the form of three grants, and all after CCSS made its June 1010 debut: $500,000 in June 2011; $1 million in April 2013, and a fresh infusion of $1.1 millionin April 2015.
The Fordham Institute is inextricably connected to the Fordham Foundation, which had $52 million in total assets at the end of 2013, according to the Fordham Foundation 2013 990. So, taking operating support from Gates for the Fordham Institute appears to be a matter of taking the cash because the cash was offered.
Political alliance cement in the name of “We’ll be able to do so much more.”
Then, there’s very pro-CCSS organization, Children Now, with an executive vice president hailing from education privatization strategic center, McKinsey and Company. Gates paid Children Now $700,000 toward operating support in March 2015.
Pro-CCSS-test-score-focused Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (TNSCORE) has also received its share of Gates operating support: $2.3 million in January 2015; CCSS-lesson conduit, the Teaching Channel: $2.5 millionin November 2014 to follow a healthy $7 million in June 2013; and Teach Plus, a fine slice of general operating support pie, $7.5 million in October 2014.
In seven states and DC, Teach Plus actively promotes both CCSS implementation and the message to “opt in” with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test. It even has a survey showing that Massachusetts teachers want PARCC over the state MCAS.
Why, it would be quite the Gates oversight not to dole out multiple millions to Who Does Gates Fund for “General Operating Support”? | deutsch29: