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Buzz Woolley’s Money

Buzz Woolley
Buzz Woolley

A wealthy La Jolla philanthropist with close ties to the charter school movement has joined with Microsoft founder Bill Gates to help support a Texas–based nonprofit corporation dedicated to developing so-called hybrid public-private charter schools. The move marks one of the bigger contributions that R.B. “Buzz” Woolley, long a donor to pro–charter school legislative candidates and other related political and lobbying activities, has given directly to the charter school cause. The venture, Pollinate Ventures, received $451,125 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2009. Last year, Woolley’s Girard Foundation, with assets of about $18.6 million, contributed $181,000 to Pollinate, according to Girard’s most recent federal disclosure, dated this May. Other Girard contributions in 2010 included $100,000 to San Diego’s Health Sciences High and Middle College, a health-care vocational school. “In partnership with Sharp Healthcare, SDSU professors, and San Diego Community College,” according to the school’s website, “staff will ensure that each student has positive and meaningful experiences throughout high school while achieving academic and social success in a vocational program setting.” The institution has been referenced by the Voice of San Diego, a local online news and politics site founded by Woolley and to which Girard gave $22,000 last year, according to the foundation’s disclosure.

In addition, Girard gave the California Charter Schools Association $10,000; the Classical Academy High School $5000; the Elementary Institute of Science $15,000; Gompers Preparatory Academy $26,350; and North County Trade Tech High $25,000. In all, Girard handed out $653,725, and its program director, Susan Wolking, was paid $102,750 in salary and benefits.

On the political front, meanwhile, Woolley personally donated $6500 to the California Charter Schools PAC in March and $25,000 to the Alliance of California Charter Schools Independent Expenditure Committee in June. In May, he also kicked in $10,000 for Californians Against Special Interests, a primarily GOP group mounting an initiative for a so-called paycheck-protection measure banning direct deductions of labor union dues.

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Buzz Woolley
Buzz Woolley

A wealthy La Jolla philanthropist with close ties to the charter school movement has joined with Microsoft founder Bill Gates to help support a Texas–based nonprofit corporation dedicated to developing so-called hybrid public-private charter schools. The move marks one of the bigger contributions that R.B. “Buzz” Woolley, long a donor to pro–charter school legislative candidates and other related political and lobbying activities, has given directly to the charter school cause. The venture, Pollinate Ventures, received $451,125 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2009. Last year, Woolley’s Girard Foundation, with assets of about $18.6 million, contributed $181,000 to Pollinate, according to Girard’s most recent federal disclosure, dated this May. Other Girard contributions in 2010 included $100,000 to San Diego’s Health Sciences High and Middle College, a health-care vocational school. “In partnership with Sharp Healthcare, SDSU professors, and San Diego Community College,” according to the school’s website, “staff will ensure that each student has positive and meaningful experiences throughout high school while achieving academic and social success in a vocational program setting.” The institution has been referenced by the Voice of San Diego, a local online news and politics site founded by Woolley and to which Girard gave $22,000 last year, according to the foundation’s disclosure.

In addition, Girard gave the California Charter Schools Association $10,000; the Classical Academy High School $5000; the Elementary Institute of Science $15,000; Gompers Preparatory Academy $26,350; and North County Trade Tech High $25,000. In all, Girard handed out $653,725, and its program director, Susan Wolking, was paid $102,750 in salary and benefits.

On the political front, meanwhile, Woolley personally donated $6500 to the California Charter Schools PAC in March and $25,000 to the Alliance of California Charter Schools Independent Expenditure Committee in June. In May, he also kicked in $10,000 for Californians Against Special Interests, a primarily GOP group mounting an initiative for a so-called paycheck-protection measure banning direct deductions of labor union dues.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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