Within her response to Mississippi parent advocate, Nancy Loome, Foundation for Excellence in Education CEO, Patricia Levesque included this:
Loome notes that we take funding from for-profit providers. In fact, more than 90 percent of the Foundation’s budget comes from family foundations or philanthropic organizations dedicated to improving students’ educational success.
We advocate for policies that benefit students, not the interests of one particular non-profit or private entity.
Levesque should know that this claim can no longer be verified. Less than a year ago, the foundation she runs took down their list of corporate donors which included for-profit charter school, Charter Schools USA.
Levesque says that the foundation is 90 percent financed by non-profit entities, so let’s take a look at the other 10 percent. Among those are corporate sponsors Microsoft, Target, Apple, Inc., and Intel. Especially noteworthy among Bush’s foundation donors are test publishing corporations Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Also included in the list is K12 Inc., a controversial online education company under investigation by the FLDOE. The publishing companies and K12 Inc. have lucrative contracts in Florida and benefit from the foundation’s advocacy.
A powerful and influential lobbyist, Levesque knows these things. She was likely to involved in the decision to take down the foundation’s list of donors. Her desire to characterize the foundation she runs as something it is not speaks volumes to their motivations.