About Rooted School

Our Mission

Rooted School Foundation exists to reimagine and support the role schools play in providing students with personal pathways to financial freedom and then scaling those opportunities so that more students may excel in school and after graduation.

Our Team

Jonathan Johnson, Founder and CEO

Jonathan Johnson is the founder and CEO of Rooted School Foundation. Rooted School is a non-profit network of four schools across four states and other projects focused on increasing upward mobility for youth faster than local projections. Prior to his current role, Jonathan founded Rooted School New Orleans, a 9th-12th grade public charter high school located in New Orleans, Louisiana that provides its students a chance to earn a college acceptance in one hand and an entry-level career job offer in the other. Rooted School has been recognized by organizations like the Center for Reinventing Public Education and Transcend Education as one of the most innovative public school models in the U.S. Jonathan also manages “The $50 Study” in partnership with The University of Tennessee–Knoxville, The Center for Guaranteed Income, and school partners which is the first, only, and most extensive randomized control trial exploring the impact of direct cash transfers to youth using schools as the disbursement vehicle. Also an Aspen Economic Opportunity Program Fellow, Jonathan began his teaching career at KIPP Central Academy in New Orleans as an 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Chapman University in Religious Studies and in his spare time, Jonathan enjoys skiing, winemaking, and cooking.

Talia Livneh, Director of Programs

Talia Livneh currently serves as the Director of Programs at Rooted School Foundation, an education non-profit organization that oversees a portfolio of high schools and pioneering innovative economic-mobility interventions. Among her ongoing initiatives, Talia spearheads groundbreaking projects such as “The $50 Study,” a first-of-its-kind guaranteed income program for high school students, and the “Green Balloon Fellowship,” which provides high school graduates with a direct-to-career employment opportunity.

Talia started her career in education as Teach for America Corps Member in New Orleans, where she taught high school math for 7 years before transitioning into an administrative position. She was part of the founding team at Rooted School. Talia remains inspired by the creativity, resilience, and enthusiasm of her students, and she is committed to finding pathways to increase economic mobility for young adults around the country and world

 Talia is originally from Massachusetts and has a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering with an additional degree in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. She has a Masters of Arts in School Organization and Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University.

Our Board of Directors

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