The NEA Foundation is a public charity founded by educators for educators to improve public education for all students.
Since our beginning in 1969, the Foundation has served as a laboratory of learning, offering funding and other resources to public school educators, their schools, and districts to solve complex teaching and learning challenges. We believe that when educators unleash their own power, ideas, and voices, communities, schools, and students all benefit.
A great public education for every student.
The NEA Foundation is a national nonprofit and philanthropic organization based in Washington, DC. Founded by educators, our mission is to work in partnership with others to promote the absolute best in public education. We believe that the most innovative and effective policies and strategies emanate from educators engaged in authentic partnership with policymakers, students, parents, and others who are committed to educational equity, excellence, and opportunity. Through the transformative power of these partnerships, we believe we can improve both students' and communities' educational experiences and outcomes.
The NEA Foundation achieves its mission by:
- investing in educators' leadership, shared learning and collaboration;
- supporting partnerships whose initiatives advance educational justice, equity, excellence, and opportunity; and
- sharing improvements in education policy and practice resulting from educators and their partners' thought leadership.
The NEA Foundation envisions schools as places that foster both educators' and students' love of learning, enabling both to excel. We also envision education as every child's civil right.
We recognize that the realization of this vision will require rigorous teaching and learning at every educational level; equitable and just educational resources and practices; an appreciation of students' and educators' full identity, physical, social and emotional well-being; the eradication of racism, prejudice, and negative biases or mindsets; and both the public and policymakers' openness to innovation and change.
Schools and policymakers that embrace educators as thought leaders are better able to respond to pressing educational challenges.
Embracing the Whole-Child
Children bring their whole selves to school, including sometimes-unaddressed needs that can affect their opportunity to learn. A high-quality education is responsive to the conditions that bear on student learning, including neighborhood and environmental conditions; access to food, housing, health care, and technology; and children’s exposure to culturally-relevant, diverse, and encouraging developmental experiences.
Educators and schools alone cannot meet every student need. The NEA Foundation celebrates the many varied contributions of educators, students, families, and the broader community — including public and private entities at the neighborhood, state, and federal levels — as well as all who support student learning and student success.
The Public Good
Public education is not only the gateway to individual opportunity, it is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy and a flourishing economy. Public schools foster students’ respect for the dignity and worth of every individual, equipping them to become empathetic and informed participants in civil society.
A well-resourced and supported public education should be every child’s civil right. We affirm that justice and equity are fostered when institutions grow in their understanding of implicit and institutional bias and how these wrongs can influence policy, educational practice, and children’s educational experiences and outcomes. To ensure justice, equity, and opportunity, the NEA Foundation supports systemic change, vibrant teaching and learning practices, and other efforts that unmask inequities and work to rectify them.
Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors boasts savvy and strategic leaders from a diverse set of fields. Each offers a unique perspective on public education, drawn from their own experience and relationships within the public, private, non-profit, and government sectors.
Our Senior Fellows Advisory Group engages globally recognized thought leaders who offer expertise and knowledge on our programmatic efforts and philanthropic strategy.
Our dedicated staff adds a diverse set of experiences, knowledge, and skills to a genuine and personal commitment to public education.