This month, the US Department of Education awarded eight states a total of $313.4 million over five years to grow the number and size of “high quality” public charter schools to serve “traditionally underserved students;” the money is estimated to benefit about 300 schools and is part of a larger five-year, $399-million initiative. Arkansas, one of the eight states receiving awards, plans to give $1 million to a startup school in a high-poverty area and estimates that its grant of $23 million over five years will mean 30 more charter schools in the state.
These grants to state educational agencies and charter support organizations are part of the federal Charter School Program (CSP), which, in addition to the state grants, has also announced $85.6 million in grants to specific charter school developers, national nonprofits, support for facility loans by three national prominent community development financial institutions (CDFIs)—the Center for Community Self-Help, the Nonprofit Finance Fund and Local Initiatives and Support Corporation (LISC). This is the third year of this program authorized under ESSA, the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, which last year disbursed $77.8 million to states. Much of this funding is used to build or renovate facilities, a significant cost that states typically pay for traditional public schools, but not for charters.Read Debby’s Full Article at Nonprofit Quarterly