The Walton Family Foundation has donated more than $25.5 million to the KIPP network of schools, which counts an Indianapolis middle school among more than 100 K-12 charters it operates nationwide.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based foundation, created by Wal-Mart founders Sam and Helen Walton, has been a longtime supporter of KIPP schools. But this award is the foundation’s largest gift to KIPP so far. It’s intended to provide support to help double the number of students attending KIPP schools by 2015, raising the number of children enrolled from 32,000 this year to 59,000.
The Walton Foundation’s website also says it donated “more than $157 million in education reform initiatives” last year.
In 2010, the foundation donated nearly $8.7 million to KIPP — an acronym for “Knowledge is Power Program” — which is based in San Francisco.
State data show just under 40 percent of KIPP’s Indianapolis students passed both the math and reading portions of state-mandated tests in 2011 — a nearly 7 percentage-point increase from 2010.