2022 Annual Report
July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Dear GFPE friends, partners, and supporters,
What a year it has been! The official merger in January 2022 between the Georgia Foundation for Public Education (GFPE) and the Innovation Fund Foundation (IFF) coupled the expertise of two education-focused entities and created one powerhouse organization with even more resources to positively impact Georgia’s 1.7 million public school students. Most specifically the public education tax credit, previously housed under IFF, now resides under the umbrella of GFPE positioning us to be the organization supporting educational excellence for public school students in Georgia whether through private donations or tax credit contributions.
The public education tax credit is a unique opportunity to bolster public education across the state. Thus, we realized that it not only needed more visibility and notoriety for taxpayers to understand how they can play a vital role in advancing public education across Georgia, but that it also needed to align with GFPE’s branding to reinforce the connection between the two. After a branding effort to develop a name and logo, we are proud to reveal Georgia’s PEACH Education Tax Credit and a revised GFPE logo. The two logos work together to show the connection between PEACH and the overall mission of supporting educational excellence in Georgia K-12 schools.
Beyond the merger and the tax credit branding, GFPE continued its work through the Rural Education fund, the Georgia Teacher of the Year program and more. We hope you enjoy reading the stories of how we are supporting Georgia’s public schools, and we invite you to join us in fulfilling our mission of meeting students where they are – wherever they are.
Davis Knox, Board Chair
Paige Pushkin, GFPE Executive Director
Ann W. Cramer
Robert “Buzz” Law
2021-2022 grants were awarded to the following projects:
Grantmaking with PEACH Education Tax Credit Dollars
When Georgia individuals and corporations donate to GFPE via the PEACH Education Tax Credit, they are helping to fund the Innovative Education Fund, which aids Georgia public schools and districts in developing and implementing innovative programs that have the potential to solve problems and disrupt “education as usual.” PEACH Education funds are awarded to local education agencies, public schools, charter schools, and 501(c)(3) organizations partnering with these entities. Priority is given to schools identified as performing in the bottom 5% statewide.
In Clayton County the Hand, Heart, and Soul Project joined forces with 7 Pillars Career Academy to create “Health Is Not Nasty,” a wellness and garden education program with the goal of teaching families how to take charge of their own health and break the cycles of unhealthy habits. More than 100 hundred middle school students are learning how to grow and prepare their own food and teachers and parents will take part in wellness and garden education classes to learn the basics of health and nutrition.
Thank you to our 2021-2022 PEACH Education Donors
How Can You Support PEACH?
As a Georgia taxpayer, you can play a vital role in advancing public education across the state at no additional cost to you. Simply apply online for the PEACH Education Tax Credit. Once approved make your contribution and receive a dollar-for-dollar state income tax credit. Apply here.
Impacting Rural Education
Nearly half-a-million Georgia students are educated in rural systems making rural education a vital piece of Georgia’s public school system. GFPE’s Rural Education Fund provides funding for programs that engage students and can improve outcomes in traditional public schools, charter schools, and school districts located in counties with 35,000 or fewer residents. This year we awarded a total of $115,000 to 12 schools or districts focused on literacy, trauma-informed care, STEAM programs, expanding medical pathway programs, and programming for special needs populations.
FY 2022 Rural Education Fund Grantees
Appling County Middle School, Increasing Access to Reading, $10,000
|Furlow Charter School, Dinosaur Diplomacy, $10,000|
Heard County Comprehensive High School, $10,000
Lamar County Middle School, Computer Science for the Real World, $9,020
Oglethorpe County School, A Pathway to a Career in Medicine, $10,000
Pickens High School, $10,000
White County High School, $8,000
Investing in Georgia’s Students is Music to His Ears
Each year, GFPE supports the Georgia Teacher of the Year (GaTOTY) program. This year’s honoree is Michael Kobito, an AP Music Theory teacher and high school band director at Woodland High School in Bartow County, and he knows first hand the importance of investment in education.
He experienced it as a student, as his teachers invested in him their passion for their subject areas, and he has also seen the importance of investing in his own students as he has spent the last eight years in his music education classroom in Bartow County. As he encourages students to view each day as an opportunity to reach their potential, he also acknowledges the impact that outside positive influences can have on students’ opportunities for success, including school funding that can be provided through grant programs offered by the Georgia Foundation for Public Education (GFPE).
Kobito admits he was unfamiliar with the work for GFPE before becoming involved with the organization as Teacher of the Year. However, he now realizes its incredible potential to advance education across the state and wants to be sure others know of the work GFPE is doing for Georgia’s districts, schools, and students.
“GFPE is an incredible resource and opportunity for teachers, districts, and local leaders to know about,” explains Kobito. “It can really change the way things work in a lot of places. Education is transforming and changing so much and GFPE helps provide students with the resources they deserve.”
In fact, Kobito was able to point to a real-life example of a grant through GFPE impacting students and teachers. At a recent marching band competition, a fellow band director from another school mentioned that he saw Kobito’s post about applying for grants on social media and applied for one, which he was then awarded. Because of the support for GFPE’s grant programs, students in that school will now have some new instruments in the band program.
“Sometimes it’s hard to know where to invest money philanthropically, but when you support GFPE, either directly or through the PEACH Education Tax Credit, you can have assurance that the money is going to invest in the future of our state and the education of our kids.”
And that is music to this Georgia Teacher of the Year’s ears.
Did You Know about Support Education License Tags?
Funding for our programs like the Rural Education Fund and Georgia Teacher of the Year comes from the sale of Georgia’s “Support Education” license tags. When you purchase this specialty tag to honor educators, you are spreading awareness about the importance of their work and helping us continue to support educational excellence for K-12 public school youth statewide. Apply for your tag at your local County Tag Office.
Thank you to our Donors
$100,000 & Up
$10,000 - $99.999
$5,000 - $9.999
$1,000 - $4,999
The Blackbaud Giving Fund
$50 - $999
Up to $49