Schools fund for Chicago – City leaders investing in kids

Chicago’s corporate and civic leaders have teamed up to create the Chicago Public Education Fund, which raises money and invests in programs to improve student achievement.

The fund, which acts like a venture capital fund for education, already has raised nearly $4 million of an initial $10 million goal. 

Led by a board of directors of 33 private executives and public officials, the fund will make investments in addition to awarding grants.

The group has announced its first $1.5 million in investments – to improve leadership among teachers and principals.

“We are initially focusing on principal and teacher leadership because, like business, the ability to recruit and retain bright, informed and creative leaders is essential to success in public education,” says Scott Smith, chair of the fund’s board and president and publisher of the Chicago Tribune.

Early initiatives will foster management skills in principals, promote professionalism for teachers and expand alternative certification programs to draw talented professionals into public education.

The fund was launched with lead support from the Annenberg Foundation.

Other major contributors include Chicago Tribune Charities, the Pritzker Foundation and Nuveen Investments.

With its public launch, the fund hopes to attract more corporate, individual and foundation support.

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