Public Education Network (PEN), a network of local education funds (LEFs) serving communities throughout the United States and around the world, has developed a handbook to help launch new LEFs and to maximize the capacity and effectiveness of existing organizations. Local education funds are independent, nonprofit organizations at the center of reform efforts to improve public education and reconnect people to the institution of public education. In developing this handbook, PEN drew upon the experience of almost 100 LEFs, many of whom are pioneers and leading innovators in education reform.
The handbook begins with a brief introduction to the structure and mission of Public Education Network and then goes on to provide step-by-step information on how to establish and run a local education fund. It is designed to be a reference for those starting an LEF, as well as an operational tool and checklist for leaders of existing LEFs. Building public demand and mobilizing resources for quality public education so that all children, irrespective of race or income level, can achieve to their full potential is a great challenge. We hope this handbook will provide you with the tools you will need to take up this vital work and will serve as an ongoing resource in the years ahead.