Pre-K through 12 Education


Jack Cullen believed that access to high quality education is critical for an individual and a community’s success. To honor this belief, the Cullen Foundation seeks to significantly enhance education for Erie County students in grades pre-K through 12.


The Cullen Foundation recognizes that despite some progress over the past decades, there are still substantial education challenges that exist in Erie County today, including Math and English proficiency scores significantly below state averages, low high school graduation rates, and lack of college and career readiness. The Cullen Foundation also recognizes that there are no “silver bullet” solutions; instead, the Foundation believes that a portfolio of approaches, interventions, and types of support are necessary to enhancing the education of Erie County students today. Importantly, the Cullen Foundation sees value in all three education sectors active in the county today: traditional public, private and charter.


Over the course of the next several years, the Cullen Foundation will explore:

  • increasing the number of high-quality seats in schools.
  • expanding and enhancing support for teachers and school leaders.
  • creating opportunities outside of school for further educational enrichment. Outside of school, the Cullen Foundation will support organizations that provide effective out-of-school learning opportunities particularly those with strong academic components that assist economically disadvantaged students (i.e., summer programming and after-school programming).


In 2016, the Cullen Foundation introduced a new scholarship program, Cullen Scholars. For more information on this program, please click here.


While the Cullen Foundation understands that effective schools are critical to student success, the Foundation is currently not open to accepting funding requests from individual schools.


Education nonprofits and programs are encouraged to apply for funding for the Summer 2017 grant cycle – click here for more details.