Brown University fully funds $10M endowment for Providence schools

BROWN UNIVERSITY announced Wednesday that is has fully funded a $10 million endowment to help support the Providence Public School District. / COURTESY BROWN UNIVERSITY
BROWN UNIVERSITY announced Wednesday that is has fully funded a $10 million endowment to help support the Providence Public School District. / COURTESY BROWN UNIVERSITY

PROVIDENCE – Brown University announced Wednesday that it has fully funded a $10 million endowment commitment to help support public schools in Providence.

The university said its governing board authorized this month to designate $8.1 million in unrestricted endowed funds and combine them with $1.9 million that was raised over the years from donor support in order to fully fund the Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence. Brown said the fund, as part of a partnership between Brown and Providence Public School District, will advance initiatives to improve teaching in schools at all levels across the district, ensure quality education for students and support the district’s turnaround plan to help revive the struggling district.

PPSD has been under state control for close to a year after a scathing Johns Hopkins report painted a bleak picture of district, how students were struggling to learn and crumbling school infrastructure, among other major issues.

In a letter to the university community, Brown President Christina H. Paxson said a new oversight committee will be created on how the funds will be used to help support Providence students. Paxson also said the fund will help support an upcoming project where Hope High School’s library and media center will be transformed to create an updated learning environment for students.

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Brown said it expects a payout of about $400,000 to $500,000 annually from the endowment.

“Every student in Providence deserves access to a first-rate education that provides a foundation for successful lives and careers, whatever path they might choose,” Paxson said in a statement. “The fund’s permanent $10 million endowment will ensure sustainable financial support from Brown, enable continuous improvement to teaching and learning in Providence, and play an important part in promoting academic excellence and student success for generations to come.”

R.I. Education Commissioner Angelica Infante-Green said in a statement the fully funded endowment for Providence schools is a “historic moment” and hopes the university’s commitment inspires Rhode Island’s corporate and philanthropic leaders “to contribute even more to this compelling cause.”

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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