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We are a national nonprofit focused on dramatically changing education and life outcomes for underserved children.

With permission from DC Prep

We Have Five Service Areas

Max Marchitello
Jennifer O’Neal Schiess

Tight budgets are a reality for many school districts across California, leading some to believe that a growing charter sector is squeezing the finances of traditional school districts. One common criticism of charter schools centers on special education: charter schools directly serve fewer students with disabilities, and thereby drive disproportionate costs to traditional school districts.

While it is true that charter schools in California enroll fewer students with disabilities, though only at a marginally lower rate than traditional public schools, this argument is too simplistic. In reality, the way special education finance works in California affects schools of all types, and underinvestment in special education services from federal and state levels shifts costs to the local level. It also overlooks the ways charters, and other schools, contribute to the education of students with disabilities, including students they do not enroll.

"California's Special Education Funding System Creates Challenges and Opportunities for District and Charter Schools" looks at several features of California’s special education funding system which make it difficult for districts to serve students with disabilities and limit the ability of some charter schools to make decisions about the programs and services they offer for students with disabilities. Title image for Bellwether publication

Blog Post

Bellwether Education Partners was just chosen as one of the 50 best places to work (find us on page 93) in the Washington, D.C. area by Washingtonian, the iconic lifestyle magazine. The publication releases its Great Places to Work list every two years and has, in the past, highlighted D.C.-based companies like NASA, Vox Media, […]

Alex Spurrier

Title image for Bellwether publication
In our new report, "Changing Enrollment, Fiscal Strain, and Facilities Challenges in California’s Urban Schools" we analyzed enrollment trend data for district and charter schools in six of California’s urban centers: Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno. In particular, we looked at how declines in district enrollment compared to growth in charter school enrollment within these communities.

Chad Aldeman
Marisa Vang

Insufficient: How State Pension Plans Leave Teachers With Inadequate Retirement Savings” establishes a framework to compare teacher retirement plans against an “adequate” annual retirement savings threshold. After defining those thresholds, the paper measures how the typical defined benefit (DB) plan covering public school teachers stacks up.