State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded California $49.9 million in start-up funds to assist in the launch and development of high-quality charter schools over the next three years.
The grant money is part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program (CSP), which funds the creation and expansion of public charter schools across the nation. California was one of just eight states selected to share $177 million in federal funds.
“California’s public school system offers a variety of school options to meet the interests and needs of our diverse state,” Torlakson said. “Charter schools have proven to be a popular and important option for many families, and I’m thrilled the U.S. Department of Education has recognized California as a worthy investment of these important charter schools funds.”
The California Department of Education (CDE) worked collaboratively with the State Board of Education, the California Charter Schools Association, and the Charter Schools Development Center in applying for the federal grant. The money will fund California’s own Public Charter Schools Grant Program, a charter schools grant competition administered by CDE’s Charter Schools Division to provide start-up and initial operating capital to assist in the development of high-quality, high-performing charter schools for California students and their families.
CDE’s Charter Schools Division is concluding a final competition for charter school start-up funding provided by a 2010–15 federal grant. A new application will be available in the spring of 2017 based on the just-awarded 2016–19 grant funding.
There are more than 1,200 charter schools operating in California. Eighty-six charter schools opened in the 2015–16 school year.
The announcement of the charter school federal grant funding is available at the U.S. Department of Education’s Web site.