Press Releases | August 16, 2019

The Mind Trust receives $4.6 million from the Walton Family Foundation to support high-quality teachers, leaders, and schools

INDIANAPOLIS—(August 16, 2019)—The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit, today announced that it has received a $4.6 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation to support the growth and success of high-quality teachers, leaders, and schools in Indianapolis. The grant will provide funding for the recently-launched Relay Graduate School of Education (Relay) Teaching Residency, The Mind Trust’s School Leader Fellowships, and The Mind Trust’s general operations.

“We are grateful for the Walton Family Foundation’s support as we look to ensure that every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, has access to a great school,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “Indianapolis’ education system has made remarkable progress over the past several years. This generous grant helps support the work of educators across our city as they champion transformational change.”

“A great education starts with great educators,” said Marc Sternberg, K-12 Education Program Director of the Walton Family Foundation. “The teachers and school leaders supported through The Mind Trust will help students across Indianapolis access a high-quality education that puts them on a path to a lifetime of opportunity.”

The Relay Teaching Residency is one of the largest and most diverse educator residency programs in the country. Opening its Indianapolis campus in Fall 2019, Relay will provide college graduates and career changers with a gradual on-ramp to the teaching profession.  Relay’s innovative two-year residency format emphasizes practical experience, allowing teachers-in-training to spend significant time learning from from veteran educators in classrooms and schools. More than two-thirds of Relay’s graduate student body self-identify as people of color.

The Mind Trust’s School Leader Fellowships provide talented, diverse school leaders with the one or two full years of planning time and expert support necessary to ensure that new charter schools and Innovation Network Schools are launched with the greatest possible opportunity for success. The grant will also provide new schools with important startup funding to apply towards upfront costs, including non-recurring expenses, such as furniture and equipment, website design, hiring staff before state funding begins, curriculum or textbook purchases and other expenses.

The Mind Trust’s School Leader Fellowships and other school creation pathways have supported the launch of 29 charter schools and Innovation Network Schools since 2006 and recent studies from Stanford University and Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis have found that Innovation Network Schools and charter schools in Indianapolis are helping students achieve months of additional learning gains in reading and math compared to their traditional public school peers.

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that works to build a system of schools that gives every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the supports they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 29 schools and helped place more than 1,500 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at