Using School Improvement Grant Funds to Increase Access to High-Quality Public Schools

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This policy paper outlines a set of proposals that would allow states to use School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds to open new and expand existing high-quality public charter schools. In January 2014, Congress took action to broaden states uses of SIG funds. As the Department of Education considers how to best implement this more flexible authority, public charter schools are well suited to help states and districts provide more high-quality seats to the students they serve. Under current regulations, states can only use their SIG funds to make awards to Local Education Agencies to implement one of four SIG models. Regulations do not permit states to award funds directly to high-performing public charter schools to open new schools, and provide little flexibility to leverage turnaround funds to attract high-quality school leaders and develop district or citywide improvement strategies.

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