California Masons are making a profound difference for public schools in communities statewide.
Leading the way for public education
Masons have championed many great causes throughout history, but perhaps none as far-reaching, or as personal, as public education. We started some of the first public schools in America and advocated for legislation to help make education accessible to everyone.
California Mason John Swett is commonly referred to as the father of the California public school system. As California superintendent of public instruction in 1862, Swett organized teachers’ institutes, established a teacher certification system, won support for school taxes, revised school law, and provided for textbooks in public schools throughout the state.
View a timeline detailing our legacy of support for California public schools.
Public Schools Month
In 1920, as California’s public schools struggled to survive teacher shortages, California Masons led a community response. The fraternity proclaimed Public Schools Week, rallying communities in support of schools and raising the funds needed to improve the system. The Masons of California still continue that tradition with Public Schools Month every April.
Supporting today’s public schools
Today, through numerous programs and services in support of California youth - including the Raising A Reader child literacy initiative, Investment in Success scholarship program, and other scholarship opportunities - the California Masonic Foundation is committed to making a profound difference for public education in our state.