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July 06, 2015

Gateses and Waltons Among Top Donors to Jeb Bush Schools Group

Several major corporations and education-focused philanthropies have donated millions of dollars to the school-reform nonprofit launched by Jeb Bush after his tenure as Florida's governor, the Associated Press reports, citing disclosures made last week by the Republican presidential candidate.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Walmart heirs' Walton Family Foundation are among the top contributors to the Foundation for Excellence in Education, giving at least $3 million and $3.5 million, respectively.

At the AP's request, Mr. Bush released a nearly complete donor list for the education advocacy group, from which he stepped down at the start of the year. The group drew $46 million in gifts from its founding in 2007 through last year, with fundraising steadily rising year by year. Other seven-figure donors include Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., and the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, with additional support coming from energy and education firms such as ExxonMobil, BP America, and Charter Schools USA.