Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-13-2017


In an increasingly complex landscape of education practitioners, goals and funding models, the need for a comprehensive understanding of the role of private foundations in public school philanthropy is more crucial now than ever. This dissertation examines the evolving role of foundations in supporting education in the United States, as a prelude to an in-depth examination of school-focused education philanthropy in New Mexico. New Mexico’s education reform environment and national education reform themes from 2000-2012 provide a structure to consider three questions: 1) Who have been the major donors to and recipients of school-focused philanthropy in New Mexico?; 2) What are they funding?; and 3) How might value be understood in philanthropy? Major foundation funders include those familiar on the national scene as well as local organizations, with strongly contrasting approaches to their work. Major recipients include Native American education and school choice-related efforts, among others. This study uses an examination of alignment of foundation, educational organization, and state education goals around Native American education to find evidence of value in the work of foundations in New Mexico. Major recommendations include the demand that New Mexico education leaders educate themselves about education philanthropy to provide an important check on foundations seeking to step into a potential funding vacuum caused by declining government support for public education.


Philanthropy, Education Philanthropy, New Mexico Philanthropy, Foundation New Mexico

Document Type




Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Allison M. Borden

Second Committee Member

Angelo Gonzales

Third Committee Member

Peter Winograd

Fourth Committee Member

Tyson E.J. Marsh