Dr. Jack Preus
October 13, 2022
Open Sky Education - Semifinalist for $1 Million Education Reform Yass Prize
Open Sky Education and its newest division Soaring Education Services advance to the next stage of the Yass Competition.
WAUKESHA - Open Sky Education advanced as a semifinalist for the annual $1 million Yass Prize to accelerate the development of its newest division, Soaring Education Services. The Yass Prize is a competition overseen by the Center for Education Reform spotlighting education providers who aspire to deliver education that is: Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding, and Permissionless (STOP). As a semifinalist of the Yass Prize, Open Sky Education will receive a $200,000 award and will take part in a four-week hybrid accelerator program, in addition to earning a chance to compete for the grand prize.
The money awarded to Open Sky Education will fund Soaring Education Services’ mission to expand access to Christian education nationally via Christian microschools.
“We are so excited that the outstanding work of our team at Soaring Education Services led by Jack Preus is receiving national recognition,” said CEO of Open Sky Education, Andrew Neumann. “It is with the partnership and support of groups like the Yass Foundation for Education that we can continue to scale new forms of Christian education that are accessible and affordable to all.”
With more than 2,700 applications for the Yass Prize, the semifinalists represent the top 32 “big ideas” for 2022. They include schools with one location and some with multiple and represent eight different kinds of education providers. Together they serve tens of thousands of students in transformational and outstanding ways.
“We are honored to have our innovative education reform efforts recognized and to be afforded the opportunity to showcase our work on a national stage,” said National Director of Soaring Education Services, Dr. Preus. “The Yass Prize would assist us to continue to accomplish our mission of expanding access to Christian education by supporting the creation of more microschools and learning pods across our nation.”
According to the Yass Prize release, “At the end of the accelerator process, the final seven (7) winners will be selected at a special event, held in partnership with Forbes Media, on December
14 in New York City. The remaining six finalists will each receive a $250,000 STOP Award.” Soaring Education Services’ application for the Yass Prize included a proposal to launch Christian microschools. The proposal underlined an approach to expand in Arizona in light of the state’s new legislation that established the nation’s first universal Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program.
This program provides public dollars for families for tuition or other qualified expenses. All 1.1 million students in Arizona are eligible to receive this funding. Soaring Education Services aims to create a model to allow families in Arizona to leverage this new school choice initiative to provide a Christian education for their children.
The final seven winners will be announced on December 14 in New York City.
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