Report: Foundations Do Little to Help Education for Disadvantaged Kids

Few foundations direct a large share of their education funding to helping low-income kids in marginalized communities, according to a new report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. From 2006 through 2008, 672 foundations gave at least $1 million in grants for education, according to the report entitled Confronting Systemic Inequity in Education: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy. Only 11 percent of those foundations used at least half of that money for students from marginalized communities. Only 2 percent used at least a quarter of their education funding to improve advocacy, community organizing or civic engagement. The National Committee describes marginalized communities as “primarily children in low-wealth families and children of color, English language learners, gay and gender-nonconforming youth, students with disabilities, immigrant youth and females in male-dominated fields.”

The Committee argues that education reform can’t succeed without making educational access equal for all kids, regardless of race, ethnicity and parental income.