Momentum American Federation for Children & American Federation for Children Growth Fund 2 0 1 8 A N N UA L R E P O R T
G ROW T H IN N U M B E R O F S CH O O L CH OICE PRO G R A MS N AT IO N W ID E
Dear Friends and Supporters, There probably has never been a time in the parental education choice movement when it has been under greater siege than it is today. Whether it be charters, private school choice, or other non-traditional forms of schooling, the standard bearers of the status quo appear to be mounting an all-out—if not last-gasp— effort to bring choice to an end or at the very least stop its growth in its tracks. One can only ask, “Why?” After over 25 years of these reforms being at work, they have shown their success in many ways. What began as a nascent effort to provide lower-income parents with scholarships for their children has today grown into a movement that now educates more than 6 million children (charters, private choice, and home school). This represents nearly 10 percent of all children in the United States. Add to that another 10 percent of parents in the country who have the financial means to send their children to private schools, and you have close to 20 percent of parents who have elected to leave traditional public schooling behind. While study after study confirms these children academically outperform their peers, we also know that in states where choice abounds, public school performance improves as well. The bottom line is that competition—which works to the benefit of the consumer in virtually every sector of American society—works in K–12 education as well. The idea that choice will destroy public schools, as is often held up by those who are trying to roll back the clock and limit its scope and influence, has by and large been debunked. Despite these results, the leadership of the teachers’ unions and the politicians who depend upon them for financial support continue to be in denial and too often put the interests of adults ahead of children. At AFC our mission—at the beginning and end of each day—is to put the interests of parents and children first. As the country’s only organizations structured to engage in advocacy, education, and elections, we play a unique role in this movement. While the opposition has never been more determined to bring choice to an end, we know we are on the right side of this issue. With your continued support, we ultimately will prevail. Very truly yours,
William E. Oberndorf, Chairman
A FC & A FC G R OW T H F U N D B OA R D O F DI R EC T O R S
Peter M. Flanigan A N D John T. Walton, A L L I A N C E FO R S C H O O L C H OIC E C O - FO U N D E R S
John F. Kirtley
H. Lee Barfield II
Kevin P. Chavous
BOARD VICE CHAIRMAN
NEW ORLEANS, L A
KNOX VILLE, TN
NEW YORK, NY
Sister Rosemarie Nassif
NEW YORK, NY
PALM BEACH, FL
LOS ANGELES, CA
A FC S E N IO R T E A M
Greg Brock CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
John Schilling PRESIDENT
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF
NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF
NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF
STATE TEAMS AND POLITICAL
NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF
NATIONAL POLICY DIRECTOR
GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY &
O U R M I S S IO N
The American Federation for Children and AFC Growth Fund seek to empower families, especially lower-income families, with the freedom to choose the best Kâ€“12 education for their children.
W H AT W E D O we are u niqu e an d effec t i v e in th e ed u c at io n refo rm space . Together, the American Federation for Children and its
affiliates are the only national organizations established to conduct the full range of activities necessary to help the greatest number of families access the educational environment that works best for their children. th e am er ic an feder at io n fo r child ren is a 501(c)(4)
organization that conducts lobbying and mobilizes grassroots supporters in the states and Washington, D.C., to advocate for highquality school choice laws. AFC is affiliated with the American Federation for Children Action Fund, a political committee that supports proâ€“private school choice and charter school candidates at the state level for elected office.
AFCâ€™s educational partner, the am er ic an fed er at io n fo r children g row th fu n d , is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that promotes the benefits of and need for school choice, informs eligible families about educational options and helps their children enroll in private school choice programs, educates lawmakers about effective and accountable school choice policies, and mobilizes grassroots supporters to speak out in favor of school choice.
2 0 1 8 AC C O M P L I S H M E N T S
1 Puerto Rico Became the Newest Region to Enact a School Choice Program In April 2018, Governor Ricardo Rossellรณ signed a law to create charter schools and vouchers for children in Puerto Rico. The law allows for charter schools in up to 10% of the schools in the territory and private school vouchers for up to 3%, or nearly 10,000, Puerto Rican children. The voucher program prioritizes children from lower-income families and those with disabilities. Students began enrolling in charter schools in the fall of 2018 and AFC Growth Fund is assisting island leaders as they prepare to launch the voucher program this fall.
Today there are 54 private school choice programs in 26 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico.
S C H O O L C H OIC E S TAT E S
P U E R T O R IC O
2 Georgia and Florida Expanded Educational Options Georgia nearly doubled the size of the cap on their tax credit scholarship program, from $58 million to $100 million, and added substantial accountability measures to improve the program. The new Florida Hope Scholarship provides children who are bullied or harassed in their current school setting access to additional educational options.
F L O R I DA
3 Proâ€“School Choice Candidates Won 77% of Races AFCâ€™s political committees invested in 375 races among the primary and general elections in
12 states during the 2018 election cycle.
2 0 1 8 AC C O M P L I S H M E N T S
4 AFC’s National Educational Choice Survey Shows Support Remains High Our fifth annual national survey among likely 2020 general election voters demonstrates that the concept of school choice continues to enjoy strong support. When given the following definition, “School choice gives parents the right to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school which best serves their needs,”
two-thirds (67%) favor school choice, including 40% who strongly support it. 67%
L IK ELY VOTERS
L AT INOS
AFRIC AN -AMERIC ANS
REPUBL IC ANS
DEMOCR AT S
The Survey Also Demonstrates How Much Parents Are Willing to Sacrifice to Give Their Children a Great Education “What would you be willing to do to send your child to a private school for free or to a different public school that better serves your child’s needs? Would you be willing to ...
Cut all eating out and takeout from restaurants for a year
Stop drinking coffee or caffeine for a year
Drive your child 25 miles each way to school
Move 10 miles away
5 Despite Intense Opposition, AFC Continues to Make an Impact with Earned Media In 2018, the American Federation for Children:
• was mentioned online 12,300 times • generated 14 op-eds, 9 radio interviews, 73 print interviews, and 67 blog posts • generated 125 Spanish-language columns on educational choice AFC worked closely with reporters and editors at the following publications on a monthly and weekly basis: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Associated Press, Washington Post, Education Week, POLITICO, The 74, U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg, National Review, National Journal, Education Next, Washington Examiner, EWTN, World News Group, Washington Free Beacon, Washington Times, The Hill, and dozens of other state-based news outlets.
AFC, the “school choice juggernaut”
2 0 1 8 AC C O M P L I S H M E N T S
6 AFC’s Voices for Choice Launched in 2017, the American Federation for Children Voices for Choice program works to elevate the personal stories of school choice. We recruit alumni of publicly funded private school choice programs to share their stories with the media, elected officials, and other key audiences. Composed primarily of young men and women who received needs-based scholarships to attend private school, Voices for Choice are powerful spokespeople for the life-changing impact of educational choice and the best advocates for expanding such opportunity to all children in America. While they may differ in many ways, these Voices for Choice have one very important thing in common: The trajectory of their lives was changed for the better when they had the opportunity to find the learning environment that best fit their needs. Their stories are powerful examples that school choice works. In 2018, AFC more than doubled its ranks of Voices for Choices who:
• Led members of Congress and local students in a congressional school choice rally • Shared their personal school choice stories during meetings with members of Congress • Spoke with congressional staff at AFC’s Capitol Hill roundtable luncheon • Authored op-eds about educational choice for publications in target states AFC provided Voices for Choice advocacy training in December, including sessions with school choice heroes such as Howard Fuller and Kevin Chavous.
7 Future Leaders Fellowship In conjunction with the Voices for Choice project, AFC launched the Future Leaders Fellowship, a nine- to twelve-month advocacy training program for graduates of publicly funded private school choice programs. Future Leaders Fellows will learn from recognized experts in communications and policy through a series of in-person and virtual training sessions. Fellows will also engage with elected officials and the political process, understanding what it takes to expand educational choice through policy change. With ongoing support from AFC, as well as extensive professional development and networking opportunities, fellows will be empowered to become leaders in the educational choice movement. With additional professional development and networking, we will work to place participants on an education reform career track at the conclusion of the fellowship. 11
Our laser-like focus on creating opportunities for children drives our careful use of the funds entrusted to us. The AFC and AFC Growth Fund boards cover our overhead expenses so that we can devote 100 percent of outside contributions to our program work. Both organizations consistently receive â€œunqualifiedâ€? audits, the highest rating and level of assurance that an organization can earn.
Functional Expense Allocation
m a n ag e m e n t
83.9% $6,076,411 8.3% $602,095 7.8% $565,914 Total $7,244,420
87.4% $7,742,798 5.3% $466,608 7.3% $648,922 Total $8,858,328
98.3% $5,700,465 1.7% $95,636 Total $5,796,101
Amounts and percentages are estimated and may vary from final audited financial statements. 13
INDIVIDUAL DONORS TO AFC AND AFC GROWTH FUND
Katharine B. and William F. Duhamel
Daphne and Bart Araujo Blanche and Zack Bacon Evan Baehr Mary and H. Lee Barfield II Dr. Janet Barresi Patricia and Thomas Barry Mark H. Berens Maggie and Bruce Blau Patricia and Tim Bliss Dick Boyce Devon & Pete Briger Gwen and Ronnie Briggs Gregory R. Brock Daniel Brockett Elsa Prince Broekhuizen Cedor and Company Ling Seow Chang Barbara and Duncan Chapman Charter Schools USA Inc. Kevin P. Chavous Harry W. Clark Elisa Clements Julie and Jordan Clements Gerald L. Cohen Mr. and Mrs. John F. CreganÂ Michele Davis Jana and Zack Dawes E. Gretchen de Baubigny Christie and Tony de Nicola Sidney Dinerstein Phyllis and William Draper Suzanne Sumerlin Duca
Edusource Unlimited Dana and Robert Emery Energy Engaged Inc. John B. Fisher Randi and Bob Fisher Stephen Foley Matt Frendewey Barbara and Richard Gaby Mark Gerson Donald Gogel Norma and Phillip Gordon Susan Gore Amy and John Griffin Nancy and Bill Hammonds Walter Harrison III Haworth Inc. Jonah Hecht Don and Fran Herdrich Andrew Paul Hicks Kristin Hite Ron Hodge Gerald J. Hommes J.C. and Tammy Huizenga Virginia James Ken and Gale Jenkins Scott Jensen John F. Kirtley Sheila and Thomas Larsen Gretchen C. and Howard H. Leach Hon. Joseph I. Lieberman Daniel S. Loeb Elaine and Douglas Lucas Haig Mardikian Betsy and Edward McDermott
Betsy and Walter Stern
Julie and Ian McGuire
The Cly-Del Manufacturing Company
Linda E. and Vincent K. McMahon
The Peter Flanigan Family
Evie and John McNiff
Cornelia and Richard Thornburgh
Douglas J. Tinsley
Dana C. Miller
Walton Family Members
Priscilla and Donald Miller
Lisa and Ted Williams
R. Thomas Miller
Byron and Cathy Wright
Shaka Mitchell Nancy and George Montgomery Jay Moory Catherine V. and Birch M. Mullins Thomas S. Murphy David Nissen Susan C. and William E. Oberndorf Will Oberndorf Jonathan Ostrander James Page Elizabeth Peek Eleanor and Charles Pollnow Dr. and Mrs. Post Linda and Eddie Rispone Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Darla Romfo Thomas A. and Georgina T. Russo Jonathan Sackler Duncan Sahner John Schilling Novella and Victor Senese Susan and Eugene Shanks Paul E. Singer Jeffrey Stark Gillian and Bob Steel
FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTIONS TO AFC GROWTH FUND Anonymous (7) Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Hubbard Family Foundation Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation Inc. Robertson-Finley Foundation Ronald A. Krieger Charitable Foundation Shelter Hill Foundation Strake Foundation The Bern Schwartz Family Foundation The C and A Johnson Family Foundation The Catherine L. & Edward A. Lozick Foundation The Enchiridion Foundation The Lois E. and Neil J. Gagnon Foundation Inc. The Miles Foundation The Sage Foundation The Sayers Foundation The Sidney A. Swensrud Foundation Triad Foundation, Inc Walton Family Foundation Inc. William E. Simon Foundation William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation
AFCâ€™s School Choice Guidebook Since 2005, the AFC Growth Fund has released a comprehensive guide to the nationâ€™s private school choice programs titled The School Choice Yearbook. Starting in 2016, AFC Growth Fund also published a document that ranked private school choice programs titled The Report Card. In 2018, we combined those two reports into one publication, The School Choice Guidebook, which includes useful information about the 54 private school choice programs nationwide, rankings for state programs, and commentary on best policy practices. The Guidebook also addresses 10 common myths about school choice today. The AFC Growth Fund hopes this publication will continue to serve as a resource for the media, allies, and advocates, as well as lawmakers seeking to create sound private school choice policies that help every child access the best education for their needs.
DOWNLOAD THE GUIDEBOOK HERE:
F E D E R AT I O N F O R C H I L D R E N . O R G AFCGROW THFUND.ORG
SCHOOLCHOICENOW SCHOOLCHOICENOW SCHOOLCHOICEWORKS
Contributions or gifts to the American Federation for Children are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. The American Federation for Children is a 501(c)(4) issue advocacy organization. Donations to the American Federation for Children Growth Fund are tax deductible for federal income tax purposes. The AFC Growth Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan education organization. Contributions or gifts to the American Federation for Children Action Fund are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. The American Federation for Children Action Fund is a 527 political organization.