Who Helps Public Schools

Research Report

Who Helps Public Schools

A Portrait of Local Education Funds, 1991-2001
November 30, 2003


This report looks at nonprofits that support efforts to improve and reform local public schools, particularly in low-income areas. Using data from IRS Forms 990 filed by these local education funds, or LEFS, we analyze their finances, locations, growth, and programs and find a healthy, growing movement dedicated to strengthening local education through community involvement. A comparison of LEFs with other school support organizations finds that LEFs are significantly larger and are growing faster; that LEFs focus on school reform rather than on replacing lost public funds; and that LEFs are most often in districts with low-income families.

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