WASHINGTON Today the U.S. Department of Education announced its Charter Schools Program (CSP) State Educational Agency (SEA) grants, as well as its Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools grants. The two awards total more than $245 million to eight states and 15 non-profit charter management organizations to promote the growth of high-quality charter public schools.
The SEA grantees include the California Department of Education, the Florida Department of Education, the Georgia Department of Education, the Louisiana Department of Education, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Tennessee Department of Education, the Texas Education Agency, and Washington states Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The CSP grants will provide financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools in these states.
AMPS Public Charter Schools, Carmen High School of Science and Technology, Collegiate Academies, Democracy Prep Public Schools, DSST Public Schools, Equitas Academy Charter School, Friends of the Bronx Charter School for Excellence, IDEA Public Schools, InspireNOLA Charter Schools, KIPP Public Charter Schools, NACA Inspired Schools Network, National Center for Hebrew Language Charter School Excellence, Propel Schools Foundation, Tindley Network Schools, and Uncommon Schools will receive funds to replicate or expand their existing network of high-performing charter public schools. The criteria for CSP grants to charter management organizations include demonstrated success in improving student achievement.
"We congratulate the states and charter school leaders receiving grants from the Charter Schools Program, and we applaud the U.S. Department of Education for continuing to invest in giving more students and parents high-quality charter public school choices," said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
In its announcement, the Department of Education said the grant awards will support the creation or expansion of approximately 670 charter public schools. Secretary of Education Dr. John King also praised innovative charter public schools for closing achievement gaps and noted the grantees commitment to communities facing steep academic challenges.
In the Education Equality Index released this year by Education Cities, nearly 30 percent of schools recognized for closing achievement gaps were charter public schools even as charter public schools account for just 7 percent of schools overall.
The success of high-quality charter public schools has resulted in soaring demand among parents. Nearly three million students attend 6,800 charter public schools across 43 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, nearly one million names appear on charter public school wait lists across the country. A nationally representative parent survey commissioned by the National Alliance recently found that nearly 80 percent of parents support choosing their childs public school, and over 70 percent favor having a public charter school in their neighborhood.
The CSP grants provide critical funding to support new charter public schools and to increase the capacity of charter public schools that have a proven track record of success, Rees added. With nearly one million student names on charter school wait lists across the country, these funds will help meet the growing parental demand for high-quality public school options.
To learn more about high-performing charter schools that were able to open or expand because of CSP grants, click here.
About Charter Public Schools
Charter public schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.