Contact: Vanessa Descalzi
Today the U.S. Department of Education announced the recipients of $253M in annual Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grants, the first such awards under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which include separate and specific grants for:
Funding State Entities—to support the creation of new charter schools $144.7M;
Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools—$52.4M; and
Credit Enhancement—to help charter schools meet the cost of facilities $56.25M.
“We congratulate the winners of this year’s grant competition and look forward to supporting their success,” said Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “While these grants are critical, they fall far short of the need. We urge the administration and Congress to work together to boost the amount of CSP funding available to meet the demand for more and better public school options.”
Far too many U.S. children don’t have access to the best schools our country can provide, and this is especially true for low-income students. Across the country, public charter schools are serving a higher percentage of students from low-income backgrounds (56 percent) than district-run schools (52 percent). And charter schools are helping disadvantaged students reach new levels of academic achievement. According to a 2015 study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University, students enrolled in urban charter schools gained 40 additional days of learning in math per year and 28 additional days in reading compared to their district-run school peers.
Currently, more than 3 million public school students attend more than 6,900 charter schools across 44 states and the District of Columbia. And a growing number of families are demanding more. According to a nationally representative survey, nearly 80 percent of parents want to have the option of choosing which public school their child attends, and more than 70 percent favor having a public charter school in their neighborhood.
More on the grants announced today below.
CSP Grants to State Entities (SE)
Only 9 of the 22 states that applied for CSP Grants for State Entities received funding. These grants enable state entities to award sub-grants to eligible applicants in their state to open and prepare for the operation of new charter schools and to replicate and expand high-quality charter schools. States that received CSP Grants for State Entities include Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin.
CSP Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools
Approximately $52 million in CSP Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools were awarded to 17 non-profit charter management organizations (CMOs) with a demonstrated success in improving student achievement. Grant funds may be used to expand enrollment by substantially increasing the number of available seats at a school, or by opening new charter school campuses.
The CMO grantees include Ascend Learning, Inc.; Brooke Charter Schools; Eagle Academy Public Charter School; East Harlem Tutorial Program; Environmental Charter Schools; Family Life Academy Charter Schools, Inc.; Fortune School of Education; Freedom and Democracy Schools Foundation, Inc.; Freedom Preparatory Academy, Inc.; Great Oaks Foundation, Inc.; Hiawatha Academies; IDEA Public Schools; New Paradigm for Education, Inc.; Rocketship Education; Success Academy Charter Schools, Inc.; University Prep Inc.; and Voices College-Bound Language Academies.
CSP Grants for Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program
This program provides grants to eligible entities to enhance the credit of charter schools. Charter schools generally lack equitable access to taxpayer funded facilities and have limited access to funding streams available to school districts. These CSP awards support charter schools in accessing private-sector and other non-Federal capital in order to acquire other funds that may be used to construct, and renovate facilities at a reasonable cost. We urge Congress and the Administration to address this issue in their tax and infrastructure legislation.
About Public Charter Schools
Public charter 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