One researcher looks into the funding structures of charter schools and the recent and growing trend of donors taking a more hands-on approach to K-12 education.
"For all the influence that philanthropy has on America and the world, it’s never been a subject that’s drawn much attention from academic researchers. While more university centers have sprung up to focus on philanthropy, the insights that scholarship offers into foundations and wealthy donors—and how they impact the rest of us—are still pretty slim. When I was first getting into this subject, I was shocked to find that there’s a lot more research on, say, welfare recipients than on billionaire mega-donors.
"This gap makes a scholar like Sarah Reckhow all the more valuable. Reckhow is an assistant professor of political science at Michigan State University and one of the top researchers digging into education philanthropy. In addition to various papers and articles, Reckhow is author of the 2013 book Follow the Money: How Foundation Dollars Change Public School Politics."