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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Who Helps Public Schools? Public Education Support Organizations in 2010 (Research Summary)

May 26, 2011

A presentation of findings from the 2010 report Who Helps Public Schools? Public Education Support Organizations in 2010.

Who Helps Public Schools? Public Education Support Organizations in 2010

June 3, 2010

There were more than 19,000 nonprofit organizations devoted to supporting public education in the United States in 2007. These organizations include booster clubs, parent-teacher groups, public education funds, scholarship funds, high school alumni associations, and others. While most of these organizations are small, together they spent roughly $4.3 billion in support of public education in 2007.This report assesses the current status of education support organizations in the United States; provides details on the activities, capacities, and resources of public education funds; and compares Public Education Network (PEN) member organizations with other types of education funds. On the basis of a survey of public education funds and an analysis of the latest data available from the National Center for Charitable Statistics, the report identifies key similarities and differences among the groups.Public education funds are dedicated to assisting public schools and school districts by raising money to support programs for teacher training and support, after-school programs, and school supplies and by promoting community support for public schools. The project was commissioned by PEN in Washington, D.C.

Who Helps Public Schools: A Portrait of Local Education Funds, 1991-2001

November 1, 2003

This study was commissioned by PEN with the goals of building awareness about the vital role and characteristics of LEFs and educating policymakers, the media and the public. Through the provision of data on the financial, programmatic and functional aspects of this relatively new movement, this research intends to more clearly define LEFs and distinguish them from other nonprofit organizations involved in K-12 public education at the local level.This report was written by Linda M. Lampkin and David D. Stern, with assistance from Sheryl Romeo, all at the Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy based in Washington, DC. The project was commissioned by the Public Education Network in Washington, DC.