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The Franklin Foundation for Innovation operates on the premise that public schools represent the best chance all American children have of being successful and solving tomorrow’s issues as innovators regardless of background or wealth.

Put simply, education is a right, and we will fight for that right on behalf of our country’s over 49 Million school children. Our public schools are critical to the protection of American Innovation. Our schools should represent the center of our communities and provide children with a safe space in which to challenge, dream, and innovate to prepare them for tomorrow’s challenges. This foundation will work in several key areas to protect our public school infrastructure, the students it educates, and the parents and communities it serves to ensure a future where innovation is our core domestic product.

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    Disengaged Communities

    It all starts with communities disengaged from their community schools. Wherever you find high drop-out rates, mismanaged budgets, lack of interest in the arts or sciences, or lack of support for extracurriculars, you’ll find a disengaged community.

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    Disengaged Kids

    Children disengaged from their schools live in communities where engagement is non-existent making disinterest in school prevalent. Disengaged kids do not achieve at the same level as children from well-supported schools. Often, factors like poverty, generational miseducation, and community blight are contributors.

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    Access to Quality Schools

    Charter schools are more prevalent in areas where quality public schools are less accessible…this is because profiteers have no shot of success in engaged communities with highly engaged student bodies. A lack of access to quality schools becomes more commonplace in areas where apathy around education is high.

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    The Push to Profiteer

    Vouchers, charters, legislation enabling tax dollars to go to private schools, are all part of an effort to turn what should be a free public school education into a for-profit enterprise mitigating the risk for investors through the injection of public tax dollars. All of this results in pockets of access to “lucky” children instead of access to all while corporations and investors turn a profit.

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    The Death of Innovation

    THE RESULT: A disengaged generation unable to innovate and solve problems, which will ultimately have a detrimental impact on our long-term national security. The availability of a robust education for some will result in a society where children cannot overcome their backgrounds with just a little effort.

     

    It is our duty to ensure all children have equal access to a solid public school education that will enable them to be productive members of our society. Public school is where our greatest generation (baby boomers) earned their educations; charters didn’t exist back then. They succeeded due to strong engagement, deep support, and a focus at all levels to ensure their access to a solid adolescent education.

  1. Providing Access to Opportunity

    We think all children should have access to a free public education regardless of their wealth, where they live, or who they are. Education is the greatest destroyer of the chains of poverty, and it is our duty to ensure America’s children can receive a solid education that trains them to solve problems and innovate.
  2. Innovating Public Education

    Blended learning, ending standardized testing, closing the funding gaps for public education, and integrating subjects like science and math into the real world are some of the ways we are innovating public education. Innovation is a good thing when leveraged to create new outcomes and help people achieve. We innovate for outcomes, not for profits.
  3. Engaging Communities

    The public school should be at the center of every society. Public schools provide the foundation for who a child will be and how they will serve their community as adults. We generate opportunities to further integrate public schools into their communities, encourage dialogue, provide parents with tools, and create synergies between educators and policy makers.
  4. Influencing Change

    We work to influence change through a number of channels, including the development of a national labs network (NalaNET) that creates learning opportunities for university students while producing innovations for American companies. We fight for fair and consistent funding at the state and federal level, support parents who opt-out of standardized testing, and influence ideas for real assessments instead of profit-seeking disruptive standardized tests.
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    Partner

    We partner with community organizations to help focus efforts that support and enhance our public schools in individual communities. Community partnering is more efficient and less redundant – there are many programs already out there doing solid work in their communities. We help focus their efforts and ensure long-term success.
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    Innovate

    We work to innovate new approaches to tackling this social crisis. Outside of the community organizations we support, we manage national and targeted programs that aim to improve community and student engagement, ensure access, and leverage grassroots support state-by-state to tackle issues effectively. This includes leveraging our social and electronic platforms to change the narrative on public education.
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    Connect

    By providing opportunities for corporate sponsors to connect with community-based organizations on a large scale, we are creating deeper connections between American business and the communities with whom they do business. By combining philanthropic giving with university research, we are innovating the idea of philanthrocapitalism. Creating deeper connections between stakeholders ensures lasting and transformative change.

Why we’re named after Ben Franklin:

Because Franklin believed education is the most effective tool we can use to improve our society. He was a leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. He was an inventor and created many notable inventions including the lightning rod, bifocals, and the first odometer. He founded the nation’s first public library and the first fire department. But most importantly, he was an ardent patriot, who believed in America’s ability to leave its mark on the world through innovation and invention, fueled by publicly available education.

 

What set Benjamin Franklin apart from others in his time was his curiosity and his willingness to go against the status quo. In his day, books were how people shared information and gained educational foundations. It was through books written by scholars that Franklin found his love of literature, science, mathematics, the arts, and civics. His access to information inspired his thirst for learning and understanding the world around him. It was his thirst for knowledge that inspired others to discover, caused a community to innovate, and encouraged a nation to find common ground against a tyrannical enemy.

 

An educated populace is a free populace. We know the vast majority of today’s educators possess the same ability Franklin did to inspire innovation and growth for America’s children – but they’re being held back by an education system that is focused on turning children into statistics, and the commoditization of education to create profit. Like Benjamin Franklin it is our desire to ensure equal access to knowledge and a high-quality education for all of America’s children; a public education, that aims to teach children how to innovate, not just how to memorize and repeat.

The IRS recognizes the Franklin Foundation for Innovation as a tax-exempt public foundation under Section 501(c)(3). The organization’s founder provides the foundation’s initial operations budget. The Franklin Foundation directly receives all proceeds raised through merchandising, the Amazon Smile platform, and crowdfunding platforms. All donations are fully tax deductible. The official registration and financial information of The Franklin Foundation for Innovation, Inc. may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll-free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.