The Pro Bono Publico Foundation Announces Grants Totaling Nearly $1.3 Million to Support Greater New Orleans Schools and Education

January 13th, 2024

Since its Inception in 2006, the Foundation Has Made Grants Totaling More Than $14 Million

Continuing its ongoing investments in New Orleans public schools and high-quality public education, today, the Pro Bono Publico Foundation (PBPF) announced that, for the ninth consecutive year, it has awarded grants and fulfilment of installments of multi-year strategic commitments in excess of $1 million.

This $1.3 million investment, in the Foundation’s 17th grant cycle, represents the sustained commitment of Rex members in support of Greater New Orleans students and educators. Since its founding in 2006, the Pro Bono Publico Foundation’s giving exceeds $14 million, making the Foundation one of the key local funders of efforts to support and improve our public schools. Today’s annual Foundation announcement at the Rex Den on South Claiborne Avenue included representatives from the PBPF’s board, schools and organizations receiving grants, and members of the Rex Organization.

Most of the Foundation’s giving has been focused on operational grants that serve to support the important work being done in our schools. These grants provide school leaders additional funds to do what they would not otherwise be able to do, allowing them to further enrich their students’ experience.

More recently, the Foundation created a Strategic Innovation Fund designed to make larger strategic investments aimed at addressing some of our more pressing challenges and high- leverage opportunities. Examples of the Foundation’s larger, strategic, three-year commitments include a grant to New Schools for New Orleans to assure our city’s charter schools attract and retain excellent leaders and teachers and a grant to the Greater New Orleans Foundation to support charter board training and development. Multi-year commitments are reviewed annually for performance, and the Foundation anticipates a shift to making more strategic investments in the coming years to help New Orleans’ school children reach their full educational potential.

An impactful and exciting addition for this year is a new strategic grant to New Schools for New Orleans to sponsor a two-day event for local and national funders and educators to be held here in New Orleans. This event will provide an opportunity to update all stakeholders on the progress of our all-charter public school system in assuring an excellent education for every student in New Orleans, to celebrate our successes, and to demonstrate a path to continued progress. National and local funders have made significant and generous investments in New Orleans public charter schools; this event will be an opportunity to show the return on their investment and encourage their continued support.

“The Pro Bono Publico Foundation’s donors, as well as other local foundations we partner with, recognize the importance of this investment in our children and our future,” said Merritt Lane, a member of the Foundation’s board. Lane continued, “We have made tremendous progress, but we recognize there is much work still to do to ensure excellence in all of our schools. Consistent with the Rex Organization’s motto Pro Bono Publico, and for the benefit of New Orleans’ school children, we are very pleased this year to make grants and multi-year commitments totaling nearly $1,300,000.”

On behalf of Andy Kopplin, President & CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Kellie Chavez Greene, the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Vice President for Programs and leader of the Foundation’s Charter School Governance initiative, said, “I want to thank the Pro Bono Publico Foundation for their investment and partnership. Since Hurricane Katina, the Pro Bono Publico Foundation has led the way in supporting our community’s public schools and students, making a sustained commitment to ensuring all New Orleans children have access to high-quality schools. We are thrilled to help advance this legacy by building on an area of strength at the Greater New Orleans Foundation and partnering with the Pro Bono Publico Foundation to ensure our City’s public charter school boards are always well-led and well-governed.”

By the Numbers:

  • 72 total grants, consisting of 69 operational grants, two strategic grants to New Schools for New Orleans, and one strategic grant to the Greater New Orleans Foundation
  • $993,000 will fund 69 annual operational grants.
  • $242,000 will fund the second year of two multi-year strategic grants to the Greater New Orleans Foundation and New Schools for New Orleans; first year commitment funded last year was $241,000.
  • $54,000 will fund an additional strategic grant to New Schools for New Orleans to sponsor the two-day event for local and national funders and educators described above.
  • $1,288,167 total of 2023-2024 grants.
  • More than $14 million in total giving through 17 grant cycles.
  • Ninth consecutive year of grants totaling more than $1 million.

A listing of the 71 institutions receiving a total of 72 grants from the Foundation’s 2023-2024 giving cycle appears below. Of the 72 grants, two are to New Schools for New Orleans, thus 71 institutions are receiving grants.

Pro Bono Publico Foundation 2023-2024 Grantees

  1. 18th Ward
  2. 826 New Orleans (formerly Big Class)
  3. Agenda for Children
  4. Algiers Charter School Association
  5. Audubon Charter School
  6. Belle Chasse Academy
  7. Breakthrough N O (fiscal agent: Isidore Newman)
  8. Bricolage
  9. Center for Resilience
  10. Citizens’ Committee for Education dba Homer A. Plessy
  11. City Year
  12. College Beyond New Orleans
  13. College Track
  14. Collegiate Academies (Sci Academy)
  15. Crescent City Schools
  16. Discovery Schools
  17. Early Partners
  18. Educare
  19. Education Pioneers
  20. Education Reform Now Louisiana
  21. Elan Academy Charter School
  22. First Line Schools
  23. Foundation for Science and Math Education
  24. Greater New Orleans Foundation**
  25. Greater New Orleans STEM Initiative dba Core Element
  26. Hynes Charter Schools
  27. InspireNOLA Charter
  28. International High School of New Orleans
  29. International School of Louisiana
  30. Jefferson Chamber Foundation Academy
  31. KID smART
  32. KIPP New Orleans
  33. Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools
  34. Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
  35. Lake Forest Charter
  36. Live Oak Wilderness Camp
  37. Louisiana Charter School Alliance (GNO Collaborative of Charter Schools)
  38. Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle Orleans
  39. Morris Jeff Community School
  40. New Orleans Career Center
  41. New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA)
  42. New Orleans Military & Maritime Academy
  43. Noble Minds Institute for Whole Child Learning
  44. New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute
  45. New Schools for New Orleans*
  46. Raphael Academy
  47. ReNEW Charter Management
  48. RoboRecovery
  49. Rooted School
  50. Son of a Saint
  51. Special Education Leadership Fellowship (SELF)
  52. St. Augustine
  53. St. Mary’s Academy
  54. St. Michael Special School
  55. St. Stephen’s
  56. Start the Adventure in Reading (STAIR)
  57. STEM Library Lab
  59. Success Preparatory Academy
  60. T F A Teach for America – GNO
  61. The Bright School
  62. The Chartwell Center
  63. The Good Shepherd School
  64. The Posse Foundation
  65. The Roots of Music
  66. Tulane University Cowen Institute
  67. Warren Easton Charter High School
  68. Young Audiences
  69. Youth Empowerment Project
  70. Youth Force NOLA
  71. Youth Run NOLA

* New Schools for New Orleans is receiving two strategic grants. One is annual fulfilment of a performance-based, multi-year, strategic grant pledge in support of NSNO’s teacher recruitment and retention efforts. The other is a new strategic grant to sponsor the two-day event for local and national funders.
** The Greater New Orleans Foundation is receiving annual fulfilment of a performance-based, multi-year, strategic grant pledge to support charter board member training and development.