We believe that all young people can succeed in learning, work, and life.

Every student deserves a high-quality school. At the Barr Foundation, we believe high-quality schools are where every child is known, challenged and supported. In these environments, every student is prepared to meet the demands of college and career, and to navigate the opportunities and challenges that await beyond graduation.

We focus on the high school years.

While becoming college and career ready is a journey that begins well before high school, the high school years are high stakes years for young people. Right now, too many New England students leave high school early—or graduate unprepared for what’s next. They often struggle as adults to participate fully in their communities. We support a wide range of public schools across New England that are working hard to change that dynamic. Most are traditional district schools and school systems, though we support other types of public schools, such as charter, pilot, and innovation schools as well.

The Barr Foundation’s Education Program focuses on the transformation of the public high school experience to advance excellence and equity for young people—especially for students of color and other systemically marginalized students—across New England. We pursue this goal through three interconnected strategies.

Three circles overlapping with a white icons in the center, one of an apple, one of a lightbulb with an upward arrow, and one of puzzle pieces coming together.

We catalyze new models by supporting school and system leaders while they collaborate with their communities to envision excellence and equity in their school, to plan and prepare for how to get there, and to make transformative change.

We invest in educators through supporting the development of a diverse, skilled, and effective workforce of teachers, school leaders, and system leaders who deliver high-quality instruction and bring new school models to life.

We build public will by supporting partners who elevate the experiences and voices of students, parents, and educators to build awareness, demand, and the conditions that incentivize excellence and equity in schools.

Across our program, we engage with partners in a variety of ways, supporting pilots, scaling success, and investing in research and evaluation. We work with individual public high schools, systems of schools at the network, district and state level, school support organizations, advocacy groups, and others. We find new partners through open requests for proposals, ongoing outreach by our team, and an open inquiry process.

View our partner directory

Download an overview of our strategies

Our Strategies

Education Program Grantmaking Process and Inquiries

Grants awarded by the Barr Foundation originate in different ways. The majority are initiated by our staff or through a request for proposals (RFP) process.

We welcome inquiries from those who feel their work may align with Barr’s Education strategies and who wish to introduce themselves to us. The best approach is to email education@barrfoundation.org with a brief description (300-400 words) of your organization, the funding opportunity you would like us to consider, and the strategy(ies) with which it aligns. Given the high volume of inquiries we receive, it may take a few weeks to hear back from our Education team.

Read more about our grantmaking process

Recent Education Blogs