Margaret Fortune, President/CEO
Margaret Fortune is changing what’s possible when you create excellent educational options for Black children. As the President/CEO of seven K-12 public charter schools in Sacramento and San Bernardino counties with a combined enrollment of more than 1,800 students, Fortune’s work is pointed towards one North star—to close the African American achievement gap. Fortune has founded some of the top majority African American public schools in the state of California. Fortune founded an early college high school in partnership with Cosumnes River College and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo focused on science, technology, engineering, art and math. Students are able to earn a high school diploma and associate’s degree upon graduation.
Fortune also operates Rex & Margaret Fortune School of Education, a graduate school that credentials teachers and school administrators for over 60 public school systems with the goal of addressing the state’s teacher shortage.
A nationally sought-after education expert, Fortune is often invited to participate in or lead conversations detailing the Fortune School approach to successfully educating Black children. She was a catalyst for efforts that resulted in the State of California budgeting a new $300 million block grant in 2018 for the lowest-performing students. A graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Fortune served as education adviser to two California governors. Fortune is a Trustee Emerita of the California State University, a Pahara-Aspen Fellow and board chair of the California Charter Schools Association. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for her substantial contributions to the field of education.
Most recently, Fortune was inducted into the National Charter School Hall of Fame for pioneering the development and growth of charter schools, implementing innovative ideas, and inspiring others in the movement. Fortune continues to increase her national footprint through her work as a steering committee member of the Freedom Coalition for Charter Schools, a national organization founded to protect the right of “self-determination” for parent choice for Black and Latino families.