Learning Policy Institute




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2020):

Revenue: $11,000,361
Expenses: $14,693,959
Assets: $13,745,414


Education Policy and Research



President & CEO:

Linda Darling-Hamilton

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Learning Policy Institute (LPI) is an education research and policy advocacy group that focuses on diversity and equity outcomes. It is a proponent of “deeper learning,” an educational approach that rejects traditional methods such as rote memorization of facts in favor of “real-world problem-solving skills.” The emphasis is instead placed on conflict-resolution, “self-management,” and “a sense of community responsibility.” 1 During the push to reopen in-person schooling following the COVID-19 pandemic, LPI was a vocal proponent of mask mandates, contact tracing, and vaccination of children aged 12 and older. 2

It receives its funding from an array of left-leaning grantmaking foundations, including the Carnegie Corporation of New YorkChan Zuckerberg InitiativeBill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett FoundationYellow Chair Foundation, and Walton Family Foundation. It has also received support from MacKenzie Scott. 3


Learning Policy Institute proposes changes to the next reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to reevaluate how tax dollars are distributed for education funding, stating that reliance on property taxes to determine school funding leads to inequity, while acknowledging that federal grants were mitigating some of this inequity. To address these equity gaps, LPI proposes a number of federal approaches, including the establishment of a national research center that would ensure equity programs are implemented and a federal commission on educational finance to track school spending. 4

LPI also wrote that the next reauthorization of the ESEA should require that states track “progress toward equity.” Other solutions include an expansion of Title I funding and the Individuals with Disabilities Act. LPI pushes for debt-free college education for all students and student loan forgiveness. It also is an advocate for higher teacher pay and for federally funded teacher training, which would include a salary, a stipend, at low or no cost to the teacher. 5

Social Justice Humanitas Case Study

Social Justice Humanitas Academy is a Los Angeles high school initiative launched in 2012. Learning Policy Institute ran a case study of this school in 2022, citing it as an exemplar of its core values. The students receive training in “social emotional learning” with an emphasis on understanding why a particular student exhibits substandard behavior, rather than on punishment. Teachers are taught to question the students’ underlying motives and emotional states if they fail to attend class or turn in homework assignments on time. Referring to this as a “restorative” approach based in concepts like “development of the complete individual,” “self-actualization,” and “open dialogue,” Social Justice Humanitas takes as its foundation psychologist Abraham Maslow’s table of the hierarchy of needs. The school also partners with Mission City Community Network and EduCare to assist students and parents with healthcare, food, and college admission services. 6

LPI’s case study claimed that Social Justice Humanitas’ student population had surpassed the Los Angeles United School District’s students in meeting or exceeding state standards in some academic areas, including English language arts. However, it also acknowledged that the school was substandard in other areas such as mathematics, with only 12 percent of its student body meeting the state standard. 7


Linda Darling-Hammond is CEO of Learning Policy Institute and president of the California State Board of Education. In 2008, Darling-Hammond directed the Education Policy Transition Team under then-President Barack Obama. 8 In June 2022, Darling-Hammond published an op-ed in Forbes magazine following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in which she condemned the idea of arming teachers with firearms to protect students. She instead called for more gun control, mental health support, and reporting of suspicious behaviors or “warning signs.” 9


  1. Deeper Learning. LPI. Accessed July 11, 2022.
  2. Ondrasek, Naomi, Edgerton, Adam. “Back to School: Lessons Learned About Safe School Reopening.” LPI. August 18, 2021. Accessed July 11, 2022.
  3. “About.” LPI. Accessed July 11, 2022.
  4. “The Federal Role in Advancing Education, Equity, and Excellence.” LPI. August 28, 2020. Accessed July 11, 2022.
  5. “The Federal Role in Advancing Education, Equity, and Excellence.” LPI. August 28, 2020. Accessed July 11, 2022.
  6. Martinez, Lorea et al. “Social Justice Humanitas: A Community School Approach to Whole Child Education.” LPI. June 1, 2022. Accessed July 11, 2022.
  7. Martinez, Lorea et al. “Social Justice Humanitas: A Community School Approach to Whole Child Education.” LPI. June 1, 2022. Accessed July 11, 2022.
  8. “Linda Darling-Hamilton.” Stanford.Edu. Accessed July 11, 2022.
  9. Darling-Hamilton, Linda. More Guns in Schools is not the Answer to School Shootings.” LPI. June 2, 2022. Accessed July 11, 2022.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Liz Simons
    Board Member
  2. Susan Sandler
    Board Chair
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2015

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form 990 $11,000,361 $14,693,959 $13,745,414 $1,940,197 N $10,776,882 $209,313 $14,166 $1,263,130
    2019 Dec Form 990 $19,145,345 $13,532,778 $16,846,506 $1,347,691 N $18,660,866 $445,056 $39,423 $967,350 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $13,696,550 $10,279,736 $10,955,571 $1,069,323 N $13,638,799 $22,234 $35,517 $1,066,576 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $10,336,989 $9,256,381 $7,612,803 $1,143,369 N $10,302,281 $29,000 $5,708 $1,003,138 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $10,787,828 $7,554,935 $6,160,684 $771,858 N $10,765,292 $20,000 $2,536 $1,066,304
    2015 Dec Form 990 $6,277,416 $4,121,482 $2,620,992 $465,058 N $6,275,000 $2,000 $416 $682,304 PDF

    Learning Policy Institute

    1530 PAGE MILL RD STE 200
    PALO ALTO, CA 94304-1140