Last week, RTD fellows in Chicago met with Carrie Stewart, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Afton Partners. Through Carrie’s excellent session, fellows were able to:
- Understand how America funds K-12 public education
- Identify policies and practices that influence how funding from federal, state and local sources makes its way to individual public schools – with specific focus on Illinois funding matters
- Understand how the design of a school, such as a traditional school and a blended learning model, influences resource allocation decision
100% of fellows said the speaker helped build their understanding of education finance extremely or very well!
Carrie Stewart co-founded Afton Partners with Scott Milam in 2011, and currently serves as the firm’s CEO. Afton collaborates with school districts, state and local education agencies, charter school operators, and social venture philanthropists and other reform-minded investors in public education. While at Afton, Carrie has assisted with the start-up of the Tennessee Achievement School District; has provided planning and implementation services for Chicago Public Schools on its student-based budgeting initiative; has provided technical assistance to numerous charter school operators in various stages of their organizational life-cycle; and has conducted financial and operational feasibility analyses for districts contemplating significant restructuring, including at North Chicago CUSD 187. Most recently, Carrie contributed to CEE-Trust & Public Impact’s January 2014 report to the Missouri Department of Secondary and Elementary Education on a proposed restructuring of some of the state’s most under-achieving districts.
Carrie is the founding Board Chair of EPIC Academy, a public charter high school in the South Chicago community of Chicago, Illinois. She served on the steering committee for New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), and currently serves as Board Member of North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School in Chicago, Illinois.
Prior to establishing Afton, Carrie was a Senior Director at Alvarez & Marsal, where she served as project lead for clients including the District of Columbia Public Schools and the Algiers Charter School Association (ACSA) in New Orleans, Louisiana. From July 2005 to March 2007, Carrie was Chief Operating Officer of ACSA, where she led the start-up of a new system of public charter schools after Hurricane Katrina, and oversaw all of the network’s non-instructional operations. While living in New Orleans, Carrie also served as Interim Treasurer of the New Orleans Public Schools. Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Carrie spent five years in Arthur Andersen’s corporate restructuring group in Chicago. She earned her BBA in Finance magna cum laude at the University of Notre Dame, with a second major in French. Carrie is also a CFA charter holder.