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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Case Study: Calling the Question Portland Schools Foundation

March 29, 2000

Procuring resources for public school reform can be a powerful focusing incentive. The Portland Schools Foundation (PSF), a sophisticated LEF with a strong leader, has learned how to leverage its funding and relationships to call the question and bring local and national attention to bear on local educational issues.