March 28, 2000

New ’Venture’ Fund for Public Education Endorsed by Mayor, Chicago Public Schools Leadership

CHICAGO—The new Chicago Public Education Fund, launched today with the commitment of $1.5 million of investments in programs to improve student achievement, was quickly endorsed by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago Public Schools Board President Gery Chico, Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, and other education leaders.

“The Chicago Public Education Fund, with its focus on leadership development and teacher quality, provides an incredible investment opportunity that promises great returns for our children, our schools, and our city,” Daley said.

Chico said the commitment shown by the business and civic community so far has been very encouraging. “The Chicago Public Education Fund is an excellent example of the incredible commitment Chicago’s business and civic leaders have to helping us improve our public schools,” Chico said. “It is a venture that will have a long-term impact on our city.”

Vallas echoed Chico’s sentiments. “Continuing to improve school leadership is vital if we hope to build upon the Chicago Public Schools’ track record of progress,” he said. “I welcome The Chicago Public Education Fund as a partner in helping us get the best and brightest principals leading our schools.”

Allen Bearden, of the Chicago Teachers Union Quest Center, said he was looking forward to The Fund working with the union to encourage National Board Certification among experienced teachers. “We see this as a way of acknowledging, rewarding, and leveraging the talent of our most accomplished teachers as they become leaders in their schools.”

Al Bertani, Ed. D., senior executive director of leadership development programs for the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, said The Fund will help ensure that new principals have both school leadership and management training. “Working with The Fund will help us create the gold standard for principals. Aspiring principals will learn exactly the kinds of skills and training that’s required to be a dynamic leader.”

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As a venture capital fund for public education, The Chicago Public Education Fund is an unprecedented catalyst for improving school leadership and student achievement system wide. Launched by a group of corporate and civic leaders, The Fund brings private sector dollars and expertise to high-impact programs aligned with Chicago Public Schools priorities. Find out more at