PHOENIX (July 20, 2020) – Today, A for Arizona announced the Vetting Committee for the Expansion and Innovation Fund consisting of local and national education, philanthropic and industry leaders. A for Arizona’s Expansion and Innovation Fund, which is focused on serving Arizona’s most vulnerable students with the highest quality schools, was awarded $1 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEERs) fund through federal CARES Act monies last month. These funds will provide micro grants to innovative K-12 schools that have reimagined how best to serve their students in the 2020-2021 school year. The Mountain West is leading the way, with Governor Ducey being one of the first governors so far to leverage GEERs funding to drive new K-12 education solutions through innovation grants, along with a recent announcement of a new innovation fund underway in Colorado.

“A for Arizona is grateful to have high-quality and diverse leaders serve on the 2020 Expansion and Innovation Fund Vetting Committee,” said Emily Anne Gullickson, Founder and CEO of A for Arizona. “Arizona students’ learning has been significantly disrupted during the global COVID-19 pandemic but there are school leaders across the state who are determined to provide a quality learning environment this school year. We are looking for thoughtful and innovative plans to redesign school models and implement creative approaches that will best serve students at a high level during these uncertain times.”

The A for Arizona Expansion and Innovation Vetting Committee includes:

Jeanne Allen – The Center for Education Reform, Founder & CEO

John Bailey – Walton Family Foundation, Advisor & American Enterprise Institute, Fellow

Christy Burton – Burton Family Foundation, Co-Founder & Chairman

Mayra Flores – The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, Program Manager

Kaitlin Harrier – Office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Policy Advisor, Education

Becky Hill – yes. every kid., Regional Director

Danny Knee – Community Investment Corporation, Executive Director

Greg Lucero – South 32 Hermosa, Vice President of Government Affairs

Jessica Pacheco – Arizona Public Service, Vice President of Corporate Development and External Communications

Karla Phillips-Krivickas – KnowledgeWorks, Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy

Adrian Ruiz – Raza Development Fund, Deputy Chief Investment Officer

Mike Santellanes – Phoenix IDA, Public Finance Director

Colin Seale – thinkLaw, Founder & CEO

Brad Selby – Weathering Steel LLC, Managing Owner

Janelle Wood – Black Mothers Forum, Founder

The deadline for the first round of microgrants is today, July 20th at noon (AZ time). The selection committee will announce final grant winners the week of July 27th.

Rolling applications for additional grants in Round 2 will begin tomorrow, July 21st at 12:00pm (AZ time). Grants will be evaluated and awarded as funds are available. Click here to learn more.


About A for Arizona
At A for Arizona, we firmly believe that expanding excellence is our best chance to rapidly increase the number of children that have access to a high-quality school and classroom proximate to them. We imagine a day where excellence has spread, and failure has fallen away, leaving only the best learning options available for all students.