About AFT Innovation Fund


Bright Idea

The AFT Innovation Fund was established in 2009 to support and share successful union-led reform efforts. The Fund works to identify, nurture and bring to scale union and educator-led innovations in public education. As an initiative of the AFT, the Fund’s reach is nationwide and, to date, the Fund has made more than 45 investments in groundbreaking work across the country. Funding for these investments has come from the AFT and from education funders that share our belief in the value of educator-led change.


The goal of the Innovation Fund has always been to find ways to help all children, particularly low-income and minority children, have access and the opportunity for a great public education. We want all public schools to be places where parents want to send their children, educators want to work and children are engaged. We believe that we can achieve these goals if we focus on and invest in the four pillars of effective public schools: promoting children’s well-being, supporting powerful learning, building teacher capacity and fostering cultures of collaboration.


The Results of Our Work

Our grantees are focused on producing innovations in their schools, districts, and communities that can be shared nationally. Click here to read about what they've done and to view and download their materials.

News & Highlights








Enrollment up at rescued Pittsburgh Woolslair school (9/11/15)

Program offers pathway to GED, college degrees (9/17/15)

Teacher’s union initiative focuses on funding tech education (6/11/15)

Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Delivers Remarks at Press Conference Hosted by The American Federation of Teachers and The United Federation of Teachers  (6/11/2015)

Weingarten, de Blasio to announce five-city ‘compact’ (6/9/2015)