Elsewhere online
January 07, 2015

Policy and Politics Meet at Jeb Bush Education Nonprofit

The Foundation for Excellence in Education, the organization founded and until recently led by likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, forged an unusual role mixing politics and policy and connecting top state officials with companies producing digital education materials, according to The Washington Post.

Mr. Bush launched the foundation after serving two terms as governor of Florida. While assuming a high-profile role in the debates over issues like charter schools and online learning, it has paid travel expenses for education officials; backed policies that benefit donors like Microsoft, Intel, and Pearson; and arranged meetings between state superintendents and firms that pursue education contracts.

Mr. Bush left the foundation's board last week in a move widely seen as a precursor to a 2016 campaign. Patricia Levesque, the organization's chief executive, said that "we promote policies" but not particular donors' products and that its corporate fundraising mirrors that of other nonprofits. "We have a definite viewpoint on policy, and our sponsors tend to share it," she said.