Researchers Sarah Reckhow of Michigan State University and doctoral student Jeffrey Snyder reported at an AERA session that foundation giving is increasingly concentrated on a small number of recipients.

Foundation funding is moving away from giving to public schools–attended by 90% of American students–and is going instead to “challengers” to the system, especially charter schools–attended by about 5% of American students.

The story in Education Week says:

“At the start of the decade, less than a quarter of K-12 giving from top foundations—about $90 million in all—was given to the same few groups. Five years later, 35 percent of foundation giving, or $230 million, went to groups getting support from other foundations, and by 2010, $540 million, representing 64 percent of major foundation giving for K-12, was similarly aligned.”

The groups now getting the lion’s share of foundation funding are KIPP, Teach for America, the NewSchools Venture Fund, the Charter School Growth Fund, and the D.C. Public Education Fund.

None of the main recipients of foundation funding are models for American education. All are committed to privatization. The best known alumni of TFA are Michelle Rhee, John White of Louisiana, and Kevin Huffman of Tennessee, all of whom support vouchers and charters.

When will the foundations wise up and stop supporting failed policies?

Don’t they care about the 90% of American children who attend public schools? Or do they think that someday all schools will be run by private entrepreneurs?