Educational success is a critical factor in transforming Rhode Island's economy. The future of our economy is dependent upon the success of our public schools. Jobs of the future will require critical thinking skills, analytical minds, and the ability to be forward thinkers. Rhode Island has one of the highest per pupil spending rates in the country yet we rank 30th in high school graduation rate. The disparity of graduation rates among students of color is wide. It is critical to close this gap and create a public school system where all students reach their full potential.
We seek to improve public education by supporting efforts to spread best practices of proven classroom programs. We provide funding to public charter schools, such as The Learning Community and Highlander, that have established themselves as real laboratories for innovative approaches to literacy, blended learning, and language development to share best practices with public schools. Through our grantmaking we support organizations like City Year and PASA that provide programs in public schools work directly with high-risk students to become more engaged which ultimately increases participation, attendance and overall student retention within our schools. We support professional and leadership development of education professionals through innovative programs like Spark grants and trainings offered through the Rhode Island Department of Education.