NewSchools Offers Funding to New Innovative Schools and Diverse Leader Projects

A national nonprofit is seeking education entrepreneurs to apply for project funding in two areas: innovative public schools and diverse leader preparation. NewSchools Venture Fund said it would invest up to $200,000 to help open innovative public schools and between $100,000 and $200,000 for programs focused on growing, advancing and supporting Black and Latinx leadership in education. The total fund is $8 million.

The Innovative Public Schools program is an expansion of ongoing investments. The organization has already invested in almost 80 district and charter schools "that embrace an expanded definition of student success."

The latest focus is on new schools that will launch in fall 2021. Support from the organization will include help in critical planning and early implementation activities. The funding comes with the expectation that the school team will participate in a cohort experience to help them refine their designs and prepare for launch. Submissions are due Nov. 11, 2019 and winning applicants will be selected in March 2020.

The Diverse Leaders program is working on a goal of seeing Black and Latinx leaders attain representation of at least 40 percent in pre-K-12 leader positions, to mirror the racial and ethnic representation of U.S. students. The funding and other supports from NewSchools will be directed to programs emphasizing:

  • Recruitment of new Black and Latinx education leaders;

  • Promotion of mid-career Black and Latinx leaders;

  • Network creation of Black and Latinx education leaders;

  • Capacity-building of education organizations to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive; and/or

  • Influence in areas such as research, design, policy and advocacy to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

Those submissions are due by Sept. 13, 2019. Ventures will be selected in December 2019. NewSchools is hosting a webinar to answer questions about the program on August 14.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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