John Kirtley is the co-founder of two private equity firms based in Tampa. His current firm, KLH Capital, invests in management buyouts of smaller middle market companies. For several years he has been working in the cause of parental choice and education reform. Some highlights of his school choice activity:
- In 1998 he created the Children’s Scholarship Fund of Tampa Bay, which partnered with the national organization Children Scholarship Fund and provided privately funded scholarships for lower income children to attend the K – 8 school of their choice. In three months, with little publicity, this program received 12,500 applications for 750 scholarships.
- He is Former President of Children First America and a former director of The American Education Reform Foundation, both national school choice advocacy organizations. In 2004 these two groups were merged to create the Alliance For School Choice, which fights to bring school choice to low income parents nationwide. He is currently Vice Chairman of ASC.
- In the 2001 Florida Legislative Session he helped fight for a new law that gives corporations tax credits for donating to scholarship organizations that help lower income children attend the school of their choice. This program currently enrolls over 33,000 children. He is currently Chairman of Step Up For Students, which administers scholarships under this law.
- He is Vice Chairman of the American Federation For Children PAC, (“AFC”), an electioneering communication organization. Such groups are also commonly referred to as a “527s”. The mission of this group is to help elect state legislators of both parties that support parental choice.
Mr. Kirtley is also a board member of the Florida Charter School Alliance, The Hillsborough Education Foundation and The James Madison Institute. He is married with two daughters.