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New Schools for Chicago (formerly The Renaissance Schools Fund) is a Chicago based social venture fund whose mission is to expand public charter schools in Chicago's most underserved communities. Established by the leaders of the city's business and civic communities in collaboration with Mayor Richard M. Daley and the Chicago Public Schools, New Schools for Chicago (NSC) invests in the growth of the highest performing charter school networks and builds emerging operators into quality, sustainable networks.
NSC has recently launched a second fund that will grow Chicago's charter school sector to 30% of the district by 2020, recruiting the top national charter management organizations (CMOs), and launching a public action campaign for the charter school movement. It is an exciting time in Chicago, with record numbers of parents demanding quality options for their children, enthusiastic and growing support from community and city leaders, and a new mayor taking office in May. At this pivotal moment in Chicago, NSC is poised to impact thousands of lives, changing the face of education in the city.
Through its first fund launched in 2005, The Renaissance Schools Fund (now New Schools for Chicago) raised $50 million and helped launch 67 new public schools of choice across Chicago. The current portfolio will serve over 38,000 students and performs 8% better than the neighborhood counterparts. RSF's first phase gave rise to the city's first all boys high school, first elementary and high school expeditionary learning schools, and the first partnerships among universities, corporations and K-12 education leaders to design math, science and technology schools.
To provide thousands more students with a high quality education, NSC makes long-term strategic investments direct to charter school networks that meet its rigorous bar for academic and financial strength, and offers business planning support and expert counsel in new school start-up and network expansion. As an independent voice for quality in the charter sector, NSC co-manages the charter authorization process and evaluates Chicago charter schools, making recommendations to the district for both expansions and closures. NSC views parents and communities as critical partners in a school system governed by choice, and has an advocacy arm to inform parents about their options.
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