WAUKESHA – Open Sky Education qualified as a quarterfinalist for the annual $1 million Yass Prize to accelerate the growth of its newest division, Soaring Education Services. The Yass Prize is a competition powered by the Center for Education Reform that highlights education providers that strive to offer education that is: Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding, and Permissionless (STOP). As a Quarterfinalist of the Yass Prize, Open Sky Education will receive a $100,000 award to support Soaring Education Services’ mission to grow access to Christian education nationally through Christian microschools.
“We are grateful for the national attention this brings to the exceptional work of our team at Soaring Education Services led by Jack Preus,” said CEO of Open Sky Education, Andrew Neumann. “It is with the partnership and support of groups like the Yass Foundation 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 quarterfinalists represent the top 64 “big ideas” for 2022. The quarterfinalists are from 33 states, the District of Columbia and groups serving the entire nation. 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 that our innovative education reform efforts have been recognized on a national level,” said National Director of Soaring Education Services, Jack Preus. “The Yass Prize would help us continue to fulfill our mission of increasing access to Christian education by supporting the creation of more microschools and learning pods across our nation.”
Soaring Education Services’ application for the Yass Prize included a proposal to launch Christian microschools. The proposal highlighted a strategy to expand in Arizona in light of the state’s new legislation that established that 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.
Open Sky Education and Soaring Education Services will advance onto the second phase of the Yass Competition. The Center for Education Reform will announce the semifinalists of this year’s Yass Prize on Oct. 13.