This report has been updated.
A nonprofit education foundation established by Jeb Bush has released a full list of donors dating back to its founding in 2007. The list comes a day after the former Florida governor released 33 years of tax returns.
The Foundation for Excellence in Education was established by Bush after he left the Florida governor's office. The organization has mixed politics and policy by drafting education reform legislation, paying travel expenses for state officials, lobbying lawmakers and connecting public officials with industry executives seeking government contracts. The organization touts a series of reforms across the country that have led to "rising student achievement" -- and it is through this organization that Bush became a national advocate for the Common Core education standards adopted by more than 40 states and the District of Columbia.
The new donation records show that a large number of contributions came from for-profit education companies and that at least three donors also paid Bush for speeches.
The full records were released amid a flurry of transparent activity by the former governor -- albeit during a summer holiday week when many Americans aren't paying close attention to the headlines. Bush revealed on Tuesday that he's earned more than $29 million since he left the governor’s office. The income was detailed in more than three decades of tax returns, the most ever released by a presidential candidate.
The education foundation had previously revealed donors from 2012 through 2014, but Wednesday's release includes information dating back to 2007. As with previously released records, the donors are listed in monetary ranges -- not with actual amounts.
News of the release of the foundation's donors was first reported by the Associated Press.
The nonprofit received donations from 191 organizations over the eight-year period. Four entities have donated more than $1 million at least once: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (in 2013); the GE Foundation (2012 and 2013); the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust (2014); and the Walton Family Foundation (2014). All four entities have given six-figure sums in other years.
Other backers include Bloomberg Philanthropies -- the charitable entity of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg; Exxon Mobil; BP America; Target; Publix Supermarkets; the Florida Lottery; State Farm Insurance; and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
The Paul E. Singer Foundation, the charitable entity of the GOP megadonor, has donated funds since 2009. Singer has not yet formally backed any Republican presidential candidate.
Don Gaetz, a Republican and former Florida state lawmaker, who introduced Bush at his campaign kickoff event this month, donated between $5,000 and $10,000 in 2010 and 2012. John E. Thrasher, the president of Florida State University and a former speaker of the Florida House, donated between $5,000 and $10,000 in 2007.
Bush's own company, Jeb Bush & Associates, has donated to the foundation since 2010.
A large number of contributions came from for-profit education companies, including Apex Learning; Pearson; Charter Schools USA; VSCHOOLZ; News Corp.; Microsoft; Intel; and K12 Inc. Of these companies, News Corp. -- which has digital education properties -- was most generous, giving six-figure sums in at least three years.
As The Washington Post reported in January, Bush's foundation has been criticized as a backdoor vehicle for major corporations to urge state officials to adopt policies that would enrich these companies. The group has pushed states to embrace digital learning in public schools, a costly transition that often requires new software and hardware made by donors to the foundation.
A group called Chiefs for Change, which until this year was associated with the foundation, is also a way for corporate donors to gain access to state education officials. During the foundation's annual meetings, as many as 10 officials from mostly Republican-led states hold private two-hour gatherings with the company executives. Chiefs for Change established its own tax-exempt nonprofit organization this year, according to a foundation spokeswoman.
According to Bush's tax returns, he earned $9.95 million delivering roughly 250 paid speeches between 2007 and early 2015. The records released Wednesday show that at least three entities that paid Bush for speeches have also donated to his education foundation.
About 10 of Bush's 250 speeches resulted in honorarium to the education foundation or the Foundation for Florida's Future, the foundation's lobbying arm. Aides to Bush wouldn't say on Wednesday whether they plan to release a list of donors to the lobbying group.
In 2008, Bush was paid to speak to Worldwide Interactive Network, an online education company. He spoke to the firm again in 2009, but money was donated to the foundation instead. The firm made other donations to the foundation in 2008 and 2010 in the range of $25,000 to $250,000.
In 2010, Bush was paid to speak to Verizon, which donated between $5,000 and $10,000 to the foundation's "Arts for Life" project in 2009, and $25,000 and $50,000 in 2010.
In 2011, Bush spoke to the Canadian Council of Chief Executives -- the same year the group donated between $5,000 and $10,000. It made another donation between $50,000 and $100,000 to the foundation's national summit in 2014.
Anu Narayanswamy and Lyndsey Layton contributed to this report.