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Dalio gift to help improve Connecticut’s public education

Barbara and Raymond T. Dalio

Raymond T. Dalio and his wife, Barbara, are partnering with the state of Connecticut to strengthen public education and create more economic opportunities.

The partnership seeks to raise $300 million over the next five years with $100 million coming from the state, matched by $100 million from the Dalio Foundation Inc., also known as Dalio Philanthropies. The balance will come from other philanthropists and business leaders, a news release from Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

The Dalio donation is the largest-known philanthropic gift in the Nutmeg State's history, the news release said.

The partnership will focus on educational programs in Connecticut in places experiencing both a high poverty rate and large concentration of young people between age 14 and 24 who are disengaged from their communities or disconnected from high school.

Business owners and would-be entrepreneurs who are working in under-resourced areas will be supported with microfinance and community entrepreneurship initiatives, including small loans and early stage capital, the release said.

"Equal access to education and job opportunities are required for any system to be fair and productive," said Mr. Dalio, co-founder and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates LP, in the release. "Unfortunately, these are now lacking in Connecticut, particularly in poor areas of the state where poverty impedes children's ability to get a quality education and for adults to get jobs."

Mr. Dalio noted that his wife has worked for many years to improve Connecticut's public education system, adding "we hope to make these changes sustainable over the long run by raising incomes, lowering social costs and making Connecticut a more hospitable environment for those who will contribute to its well-being."

Bridgewater Associates manages $160 billion in hedge fund and other alternative investment strategies. Dalio Philanthropies had assets of $799 million as of Dec. 31, 2016. Both entities are located in Westport, Conn.