In 2012, Public Education Network (PEN) closed its doors after 21 years. PEN was a network of local education funds (LEFs) -- community based organizations in high poverty school districts across the United States -- that continue to work with their school districts and communities to improve public education for the nation's most disadvantaged children.

At the national level, PEN raised the importance of public engagement as an essential component of education reform. It brought the voice of LEFs and the communities they represent into the national education debate. Finally, PEN gave voice to the essential nature of the connection between quality public education and a healthy and thriving democracy.

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From the Margins to the Center of School Reform: A Look at the Work of Local Education Funds in Seventeen Communities

April 7, 1999

This report begins to describe the core and emerging areas of LEFs' work, their ways of working and the conditions under which they work. The seventeen organizations studied in this report were selected from among the 43 LEFs in the Network, to reflect the range in their size and geographic distribution.

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