Heritage Foundation Announces New Innovation Prize for Carolinas Academic Leadership Network to Empower School Choice

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Heritage Foundation Announces New Innovation Prize for Carolinas Academic Leadership Network to Empower School Choice

May 20, 2024 2 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation announced Monday that is has selected the Carolinas Academic Leadership Network (CALN), alongside innovative partners the John Locke Foundation, the Palmetto Promise Institute, and the South Carolina Policy Council, as a recipient of the Heritage Innovation Prize.  

Heritage’s award will aid CALN and its partners in providing fellowships, trainings, and support to local school board members in North and South Carolina to empower parents and advance students' achievements without the one-sided agendas that have corrupted many educational institutions.  

The Innovation Prize is proud to support organizations like CALN who share the same goal of bettering our education system that is currently failing our children due to the absence of transparency, scourge of woke ideas, and lack of accountability to parents.  

Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation, released the following statement upon announcement of the award:  

“School choice is the civil rights issue of the modern era and a rallying opportunity for generations who agree parents, not school boards, should have full control over their kid’s education. It is a privilege to support the work of CALN and its partners, who prioritize children and their futures instead of the interests of Randi Weingarten and her cronies. Every state should lead the charge for educational freedom, and this award will go a long way toward CALN’s efforts to advance school choice the Carolinas.”  

Donald Bryson, CEO, John Locke Foundation, also released a statement upon receiving the award:  

“We are 41 years past the Reagan administration’s landmark report titled ‘A Nation at Risk,’ and yet we are still a nation at risk when it comes to student achievement,” “This project from think tanks in North Carolina and South Carolina shows a commitment to improving student achievement and empowering local school board members to strive for excellence for their schools. I appreciate the Heritage Foundation’s continued commitment to education reform and creating brighter days for students in our states.” 

The Heritage Innovation Prize recognizes and provides substantive financial awards totaling up to $1 million annually to results-oriented nonprofits for projects involving research, litigation, education, outreach, or communications, particularly those focused on empowering parents in education, holding Big Tech accountable, countering the threat of the Chinese Communist Party, securing America’s borders and reducing crime, ensuring free and fair elections, reducing the growth of spending and inflation, and promoting life and family formation. 

This is the fourth round of Heritage Innovation Prizes to be awarded. In 2023, winners of the Prize included Communio, the National Association of Scholars, the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Speech First, and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. These awards are sponsored by The Heritage Foundation’s robust endowment for innovative conservative projects. 

For more information on the most recent Innovation Prize awards, read here, or for information on the inaugural awards, read here. For more information about the prize itself, read here