Education Equity in Silicon Valley: Donor Pathways to Impact
Education can provide the foundation for every child to reach their full potential in life. We all benefit from a well-educated, productive populace. Yet here in Silicon Valley—the epicenter of world-changing innovation—our public education system is at once failing too many of our children, while providing others with a world-class education that prepares them for a meaningful career. Statistically speaking, you can predict a Silicon Valley child’s educational opportunity based on their household income, zip code, and the color of their skin.
It doesn’t have to be this way. And it isn’t a zero-sum game. We can provide a high-quality education to EVERY child. Philanthropic dollars can play a catalytic role in making this possible. But would-be donors often find our complex local education system overwhelming. With so many needs, it is hard to know where to begin or whether your dollars will make a difference. Education Equity in Silicon Valley: Donor Pathways to Impact offers donors more clarity and inspiration to spark their giving.
We introduce a simple framework of three broad and intersecting categories to help make sense of the complex landscape: people, programs within systems, and policies.
And to make this brief as actionable as possible, we highlight five levers of intervention within that framework that research tells us offer a particularly significant return on investment:
- Teacher & leader talent & development
- Family engagement
- High-quality early care & education
- College access, college success & career readiness supports
- Policy, advocacy & organizing across education issue areas
We also feature six local education donors to inspire you: Kathy Kwan, Tammy Crown, Michelle Boyers, Kelly Pope, Shannon Hunt-Scott, and the Castellano Family Foundation.
There are many ways to make a difference in the local education system, at a wide range of investment levels. We hope this brief will help you identify your ideal way to get started.
|Opportunities to Advance
|Public School Enrollment
by Race & Ethnicity
Ready to go deeper?
Seek inspiration from local foundations with strong education portfolios
- Sobrato Philanthropies (Grantee list here. Search the "21st Century Education," "Pathways for Success," or "English Learner Advocacy" portfolios.)
- David & Lucile Packard Foundation (Grantee list here. Search the "Local Grantmaking" program.)
- Castellano Family Foundation (Education grantee lists here (featured) and here (past))
- Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation (Grantee list here.)
- Silicon Valley Community Foundation's Early Childhood and Education Giving Guide
Explore California education data
Stay abreast of education news and advocacy
- EdSource (California)
- EdWeek (National)
- NPR Ed newsletter (National)
- DisruptEd blog from The Education Trust-West (California)
Read more about current issues in education
- COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning, McKinsey
- How Schools Can Practice Family Engagement to Dismantle Longstanding Educational Inequities, Carnegie Corporation of NY
- 2020 Top Bay Area Public Schools for Underserved Students, Innovate Public Schools
Photo Credit: Eastside College Preparatory School