Walton Foundation gives $15M to promote charter schools

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Kevin Ferguson/KPCC

Charter schools supporters rally for L.A. Unified reform plan.

Advocates of charter schools in California will get $15 million from the foundation established by the founders of the Wal-Mart stores.

The Walton Family Foundation donated the money to the California Charter Schools Association to grow the charter school population in the state by 100,000 students in the next three years. The foundation wants to see a significant part of that growth happen in the L.A. Unified School District, the largest in the state.

The donation comes as the federal government has slashed a large portion of the grant money it gives California to create new charter schools. Observers also say a new batch of laws approved last month in Sacramento will rein in the speedy growth of charters.

One of the laws force charters to make higher improvements in test scores for the schools to remain open.

There are about 900 charter schools in California. L.A. Unified’s seen the largest growth, with about a quarter of all charters located in district boundaries.

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