School Choice: Vouchers in Milwaukee: Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, 1986

Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society (Duke)



Case Study Sector


The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation emerged into the national spotlight as a financial supporter of conservative causes in 1985 when the sale of the Allen-Bradley Company, the firm Lynde founded and his younger brother Harry joined three years later, lifted the foundation’s assets from $14 million to $290 million. School vouchers emerged as a conservative public policy issue when Milton and Rose Friedman, both prominent and influential free-market economists, proposed vouchers as a way to promote school choice and educational competition.
Desiring to promote vouchers as a policy position consistent with its ideology, the Bradley Foundation first began funding research and stimulating intellectual interest in school vouchers before promoting more direct advocacy of school voucher policies and, eventually, offering direct support for voucher programs. In 1986, the Foundation initiated its school choice funding campaign with a grant of $75,000 to support the research and writing of John Chubb and Terry Moe’s Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools, a book supporting with empirical data the school choice ideas proposed by the Friedmans. . . .



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