The following is a statement from the Alliance for School Choice and American Federation for Children honoring the memory and service of Peter M. Flanigan, visionary philanthropist and longtime member of the Board of Directors for the Alliance for School Choice, who passed away Sunday, July 28, at the age of 90. A renowned leader in the national education reform movement for well over two decades, Mr. Flanigan served as a founding board member of the Alliance for School Choice since its inception in 2004, as well as on the boards for the predecessor organizations of the Alliance. In 2004, the Alliance for School Choice honored his exceptional work by awarding him with the inaugural John T. Walton Champions for School Choice Award, an annual recognition given to those who have exhibited outstanding leadership in advocating for educational opportunities on behalf of disadvantaged children. In addition to his work with the Alliance, Mr. Flanigan was the founder of Student Sponsor Partners in New York City, which has enabled nearly 6,000 disadvantaged children over the past 27 years to graduate from high school.
“It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Peter Flanigan, our dear friend, fellow board member, and tremendous champion for educational choice and opportunity. Peter Flanigan was a very distinguished public servant, a great patriot, a brilliant leader in our nation’s business and financial arenas, and, most importantly, a genuinely wonderful human being. Equal opportunity in education is a cause that was near and dear to Peter’s heart for many years. His dream was to one day ensure that every child in America would be guaranteed equal access to a quality education, and he dedicated much of his time, his talents, and his resources to advancing this crucial cause. Thanks to Peter’s bold leadership and tireless efforts, countless children in our nation have had a chance for a better education they might have otherwise been denied. Our prayers are with Peter’s family as they mourn his passing and celebrate his life.” – Betsy DeVos, Chairman, American Federation for Children and Alliance for School Choice
“The passing of my dear friend and colleague Peter Flanigan is a significant loss for the Alliance for School Choice and for the national education reform movement. We are comforted by the knowledge that because of Peter’s exemplary leadership and vision, many hundreds of thousands of children during the past two decades have gained a brighter future full of hope and opportunity through educational choice. While we will miss him greatly, all of us in the national school choice movement are profoundly grateful to Peter for his lifetime of honorable service.” – William E. Oberndorf, Chairman Emeritus and Member of the Board of Directors, Alliance for School Choice
“Few in America have done more over the past two decades to advance educational choice for children than Peter Flanigan. A man most generous of spirit and of heart, Peter believed in the essential dignity and value of every human life and in the fundamental principle that every child – regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or geographic residence – deserves a quality education. He was truly a giant in the education reform movement, and he will be greatly missed by those of us that are committed to continuing his important work.” – John Kirtley, Vice Chairman, American Federation for Children and Alliance for School Choice