2020 ANNUAL REPORT

Friends, partners, and supporters of public education,

Thank you for your interest in the Georgia Foundation for Public Education! GFPE is the foundation of the Georgia Department of Education, and exists for the single purpose of supporting educational excellence for students in Georgia. We provide simple ways for donors to serve students in Georgia’s K-12 system, by investing in a current GFPE project or working with GFPE to fund their vision.

In recent years, we’ve provided funding to support rural public schools, dual language immersion, disaster relief, back-to-school supplies, and more – but in March 2020, the need changed, and we needed to pivot.

The COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate impact on public schools, which were faced with creating systems for full virtual/distance learning with very little advance notice.

GFPE exists to support public schools, and that’s what we worked to do in the wake of the pandemic. Our streamlined, low-overhead organization allowed us to respond quickly and nimbly to these brand-new needs. We immediately partnered with the Innovation Fund Foundation to offer COVID-19 Response Fund grants, and with AT&T, the Georgia Governor’s Office, and the Georgia Department of Education to expand connectivity through WiFi Ranger hotspots.

Using GFPE funds, Georgia public schools offered mental health supports for their students, took virtual field trips, provided virtual summer school lessons, purchased PPE, delivered school meals to students’ homes, and more.

It is an honor to support Georgia’s public schools, and to fulfill our mission of meeting students where they are – wherever they are. If you’d like to join us in this work, please review the information in this annual report or visit GFPE.org/invest.

With gratitude for your partnership and support,

Walt Helms, GFPE Board Chair
Paige Pushkin, GFPE Executive Director

 

“Educator” and “Support Education” license tags directly support public-school classrooms through GFPE.

Funds from License Tags Support
Public-School Classrooms

All proceeds from the purchase of Georgia “Educator” and “Support Education” license tags directly support public-school classrooms through GFPE. Funds from the purchase of these tags allows us to support programs like Georgia Teacher of the Year, the Rural Education Fund, Dual Language Immersion, and much more. Support students in Georgia’s K-12 public schools today by purchasing a tag for your vehicle! The Simplest Way to Support – Purchase a Georgia Educator Tag! 

 

Pandemic Relief for Schools:COVID-19 Response Fund Grants

In March, Georgia public schools had to do the impossible – with extremely limited notice, schools shifted to full-time distance learning, many for the first time in their history.

Students needed laptops and internet access. They needed to access meals, while suddenly cut off from their school buildings. They needed mental health support, and they needed to continue learning in an entirely new environment.

To help schools fill the gaps, GFPE immediately partnered with the Innovation Fund Foundation (IFF) to stand up a brand-new grant program, the COVID-19 Response Fund. Applications opened in April 2020, and by May, 11 grants were approved, providing funds for personal protective equipment (PPE), school meals, mental health services, supplemental learning resources, and supports for at-risk students.

An additional round of funding was made possible by donations from the R. Howard Dobbs Foundation, NCR Foundation, Rotary Club of Brookhaven, and the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation, funding school and district initiatives designed to mitigate the long-term impacts of the pandemic.

 

Expanding Connectivity: AT&T WiFi Ranger Hotspot Grants

WiFiRanger hotspots were affixed to school buses across the state and deployed as mobile internet access points.

In the spring, as the pandemic started, an estimated 80,000 student households across the state did not have access to wireline internet services –making connectivity one of the most urgent needs facing the K-12 education system.

To expand connectivity, GFPE partnered with the Governor’s Office and the Georgia Department of Education to leverage a donation from AT&T and deploy 448 WiFi rangers to 36 school districts across the state.

The rangers were affixed to school buses to provide community-accessible mobile WiFi connectivity, with priority given to systems located in high-poverty and rural areas of the state.

“I am extremely grateful for the donation by GFPE and AT&T of WiFi Rangers,” said Chris Forrer, Superintendent of the Franklin County School System in northeast Georgia. “Whether they were used by students who were temporarily quarantined to keep up their classwork, or by students who chose to attend school virtually full-time, this donation was essential to their learning.”

 

Expanding Opportunities in Every School: Rural Education Fund

Launched in 2018, GFPE’s Rural Education Fund gives rural school districts – which face unique challenges and resource gaps – the flexibility to identify their area of greatest need and propose a project that will make an impact on students.

Totaling $60,000, the second round of grants awarded in August 2019 funded a literacy fair, STEM education through aquaponics, an outdoor classroom, an after-school academy, an online class on digital media, PBIS implementation, and more.

Twelve rural schools and districts received grants: Atkinson County Middle and High School, Ben Hill County Schools, Chattahoochee Valley Academy, Harris County High School, Jasper County Middle School, McIntosh County Academy, Montgomery County Schools, Nicholls Elementary School, Washington-Wilkes High School, Wayne County Schools, Wheeler County Elementary School, and Wilkinson County Elementary School.

 

Ready for a Global Future: Dual-Language Immersion Grants

GFPE regularly works with staff at the Georgia Department of Education to identify and fund key priorities – including Dual Language Immersion, or DLI.

DLI allows students to gain fluency in a foreign language as part of the regular school day. In Georgia DLI programs, students spend at least half of their school day in the target language, and the other half-day in English.

In 2019, GFPE provided a total of $9,555 in DLI Mini-Grants to seven public schools: Dunleith Elementary in Marietta, Brandywine Elementary in Alpharetta, Clarkdale Elementary in Austell, Brookwood School in Dalton, Norton Park Elementary in Smyrna, Haven Elementary in Savannah, and Windsor Forest Elementary in Savannah.

The grants funded key resources to supplement existing DLI programs; for example, as Dunleith Elementary rolled its program up to first grade, they needed to equip an entire classroom with Spanish instructional resources. Similarly, Brandywine Elementary used its grant funds to purchase Spanish-language books to support math, science, and social studies learning.

 

Donor List

$100,000-$499,999

Anonymous
AT&T
Georgia Power
Mighty Cause Corporation

 

$50,000-$99,000

Innovation Fund Foundation
United Way

 

$10,000-$49,999

Cobb Community Foundation
National Center for Youth Issues
NCR Foundation
Wyck & Sehll Knox Family Foundation Inc.

 

$4,000-$9,000

Fidelity Charitable
Davis Knox
McMunn Family Foundation

 

$1,000-$3,999

America’s Charities
Pamela Buzbee
Carol Seay

 

$50-$999

Juan-Carlos Aguilar Gladys Fisher Iesha Parks
Amy Alderman Chet Forsh Mahesh Pawar
Travis Allen Meghan Frick Kathy Peavy
Lacey Andrews Cassandra Gaul Paula Poulicek
Sharon Armour Erica Glenn Martha Powers-Jones
Diana Baird Adria Griffin Geraldine Price
Ken Banter Cindy Ham Susan Psytic
Mary Jean Banter James Hammond Mary Ream
Geronald Bell Mamie Hanson Helen Rice
Rebecca Blanton Devonne Harper Stephen Roache
Sharon Bonner Walter Helms Michael Royal
Jessica Booth Hodge Consulting Services, LLC Cindy Saxon
Nancy Brim Paige Holland Pat Schofill
Clara J. Keith Brown Gail Humble Amy Sewell
Amanda Buice Timi Hunt Christopher Shealy
Danielle Burnette Alvenease Jackson Scott Smith
Brian Butera Janet Johnson Deshonda Stringer
Ashley Byars Otis Johnson Karen Suddeth
Miriam Caldwell Stephanie Johnson Bob Swiggum
Randolph Cardoza Helaina Jolly Emily Thomas
Anthony Childers John Josephson Allison Timberlake
Tammi Clarke Michelle King Travis Townsend
Jason Clayton Cynthia Lee Sharquinta Tuggle
Melodie Clayton Joseph Lillyblad David Turner
James T. Collins Jessica Loiacono Premkumar Venkatasamy
Bryan Cox Liz Loreti Janzetter Walker
Ann W. Cramer Faya Major Barbara Wall
Leigh Ann Cross Kenneth Mason Jo Ward
Shari Diamond Darrel May Kenneth or Suzette Weinhardt
Linette Dodson Therese McGuire Shannon Weist
Peter Dominicis Traci Messier Jennie Welch
Jason Downey Allan Meyer Breanne West
Mari Early Jeannie Morris JoAnn Wood
Tamara Echard Frank Mullins Richard Woods
Brenda Edenfield Upendra Narra Jodi-Ann Wray
Joseph Emma Lynn O’Hara Rakesh Yadav
Louis Erste Sabine Oneill Jennifer Zoumberis
Nadine Fincher Bethani Oppenheimer

 

Up to $49

Carly Ambler Ann L. Hamner Marijo Pitts-Sheffield
Kathy Aspy Lisa Hardman Cynthia Popp
Ellen Bennett Corrina Harvey Eva Porter
Janna Bennett Dawna Hatcher Patricia Rooks
Derwin Binion Joy Hatcher Amy Rowell
Angela Bivins Megan Heaphy Deborah Reagin
Jessica Blackley Sandy-Asari Hogan Margaret Samuel
Tim Brown Shernita Howard Stephanie Sanders
Nykia Burke Billy Hughes Dawn Scott
Debbie H. Caputo Larry Hunter Brian Shockley
Matt Cardoza Breanne Huston Linsey Shockley
Andrea Catalano Karma Jordan Sheila Sims
Vickie Cleveland Deborah Keane – PBIS Team Donovan Smith
Franeka Colley Trisha King Sunyoung Song
Caitlin Copan-Kelly Elizabeth Lewis Diana Spangler
Jose Cortez Wina Low Jeanne Starr
Nicole Croom Abhishek Madas John Taylor
Viola Darrington Dawn Mann Bangarraju Thilam
Jayesh Dave Meghan McFerrin Eric Thomas
Sandra DeMuth Alicia Mercer Kimberly Thomas
Amarnath Devarasetty Anne Miller Venkata Satya Sai Sarma Tipparaju
Anisha Donald Patricha Miller Keisla Tisdel
Caitlin Dooley Benjamin Moore Tina Tolen-Harbert
Jody Drum Julie Morrill Mm Toler
Jackie Dugger Betty Moss Kelley Toon
Mary Eddleman Agnes Mwangi Aree Tyson
Carmen Freemire Srinivas Nagaraj Raghuram Valusani
Craig Geers Harriett Neal Meghan Welch
Amanda Gibson Demetrius Nelson Bobbi West
Gladys Glover Diane Ochala Sheila White
Valerie Gordon Keith Osburn Ketris Williams
Sandra Greene Pamela Owens Karen Wyler
Hanuman Guntupalli Dyani Payne Tylisa Young

 

Georgia Foundation for Public Education Board

Walt Helms, Chair Cobb County
Davis Knox, Vice Chair Clarke County
Ann W. Cramer, Immediate Past Chair Fulton County
Debbie Burdette Troup County
Jason Downey, Ex-Officio Bibb County
Al Hodge Floyd County
Otis Johnson Chatham County
Robert “Buzz” Law Fulton County
Kenneth Mason Fulton County
Shaunae Motley Dougherty County

Expenses

Admin expenses $44,675
Grants* $416,121
TOTAL $460,796