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Florida Philanthropic Network

FPN Education Funders Affinity Group

Through the years, FPN members have expressed concern about the state of public education in Florida, noting the state's consistently low rankings on various measures and the challenges of providing adequate public funding. In 2009, a group of FPN members joined together to create the Education Funders Affinity Group (EAG), with the goal of building stronger partnerships with government around education policy in Florida. The EAG is comprised of FPN members who share an interest in supporting education issues, organizations and needs in Florida. FPN's Education Funders Affinity Group members include:

> The Able Trust
> Bank of America
> Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
> The Chartrand Foundation
> The Community Foundation in Jacksonville
> Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
> Community Foundation of Broward
> Community Foundation of Collier County
> Conn Memorial Foundation
> Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation
> The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation
> The Celia Lipton Farris and Victor W. Farris Foundation, Inc.
> Gulf Coast Community Foundation
> Helios Education Foundation
> IBM
> Jessie Ball duPont Fund
> John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
> Johnson Scholarship Foundation
> JPMorgan Chase
> Quantum Foundation
> Southwest Florida Community Foundation
> Wells Fargo
> Marie C. & Joseph C. Wilson Foundation

Reports

> Philanthropy & Public Education: Partnering in the Sunshine State (PDF)
This 12-page white paper, developed by FPN's Education Funders Affinity Group, describes the valuable role that philanthropy plays in public education in Florida.  It explains how philanthropy can best help policymakers in improving public education - with expertise, connections, reputation & convening power, and as risk takers - and provides some profiles of how foundations are working across the state to help strengthen public education.

Issue Briefs

These two-page Issue Briefs describe the perspectives of FPN's Education Funders Affinity Group on key public education issues:

> Issue Brief: Providing Adequate Resources (PDF)
While Floridians receive an abundance of information on government spending on public education, we know little about how much we should be spending, or whether we are spending our public dollars wisely. State policymakers should invest greater effort in determining how current dollars are spent and how spending might be altered for greater effectiveness. Additionally, policymakers should work to identify a dedicated, sustainable source of revenue for public education.
   
> Issue Brief: Accelerating STEM Education (PDF)
Improving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education in Florida demands a systemic approach, addressing the continuum from teacher training and preparation, to classroom resources and curricula, to assessment and evaluation. We must focus on approaches that are grounded in research and change how and what teachers teach, making STEM a robust component of a balanced curriculum that results in students who can compete in a global, 21st-century economy.
   
> Issue Brief: Ensuring Teacher Accountability (PDF)
Teacher accountability should be part of a broader system of human capital management in public education. School districts should implement, and the state should encourage, systems that not only measure teachers' year-to-year performance, but that adequately prepare teachers, provide them with rich professional development opportunities and create a challenging career ladder, all while facilitating the process of recruiting, evaluation, rewarding and retaining effective teachers.

Activities

> Florida Education Grantmakers Convene to Explore Philanthropy's Role in Education Innovation
   
> FPN's Education Funders Affinity Group Brings Grantmakers Together for Shared Learning & Action (PDF - 2010 Annual Report excerpt)

The work of FPN's Education Funders Affinity Group is supported in part through the generosity of The Chartrand Foundation, The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Helios Education Foundation.


Questions?

For questions about FPN's Health Funders Group, please contact David Biemesderfer, FPN's President & CEO, 813-983-7396, or Christopher Johnson, FPN's Director of Programs & Learning, 813-983-7397.

 


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