The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) is a relatively new foundation. Established in late 2008, the foundation supported only a handful of education-related organizations/causes during its first few years: KIPP, TFA, Yes Prep, the DC IMPACT program (through the DC Public Education Fund), a few school districts, and a small amount of research. Below is a summary of education-related grants for the years 2009 and 2010 (the years for which Forms 990s are currently available):
Although the foundation gave out a few grants in 2008, none went to education.
The foundation is one of the few confirmed funders of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst.1 This is hardly a surprise given the foundation’s earlier support of the DC IMPACT program. Other funders of the DC IMPACT program include the Robertson Foundation, Broad Foundation, and Walton Family Foundation. The latter two are confirmed funders of StudentsFirst.2
John Arnold serves as a board member of TNTP. Laura Arnold serves on the board of Teach for America. Although currently available Form 990s do not list contributions to TNTP, the foundation has contributed to the organization for work in the Houston Independent School District and possibly other programs as well.3
According to the foundation’s website, the foundation “currently focuses on four major levers for change”: efficient markets, human capital, learning systems, and performance management. [Update 10/12/12: the foundation’s website now lists three levers: “more high-quality schools and educators,” “active public engagement,” and “creating an environment of innovation.”
The foundation ended 2010 with approximately 2/3 of a billion dollars in assets.