U.S. Department of Education Launches $65 Million Grant Competition for Creating, Expanding High-Quality Public Charter Schools

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U.S. Department of Education Launches $65 Million Grant Competition for Creating, Expanding High-Quality Public Charter Schools

May 10, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education today announced a competition to award $65 million in grants to as many as 20 Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) across the country to create and expand charter schools that support students from underserved communities.

Since the inception of the Charter Schools Program (CSP), the Department has awarded over $3 billion to schools across the country to provide students equitable educational opportunities.

“Charter schools continue to play an important role as incubators for innovation,” said Nadya Chinoy Dabby, assistant deputy secretary for the Office of Innovation and Improvement. “We are excited to expand promising charter schools through this year’s competition, and we expect that these schools will create new pathways to college and careers in underserved communities."

Across the nation, the Department’s charter grantees are transforming students’ academic trajectories and preparing more students for success after graduation.

According to a 2013 study by Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), the performance of students in schools that are part of a CMO has improved each year. A follow-on study in 2015 showed that urban charter students benefit from the equivalent of up 28 additional days of learning in reading and 40 more days in math per year.

“It is not an overstatement to say that without our CMO grant, Great Oaks would not have been able to open new charter schools in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Wilmington, Delaware, nor would we have been able to expand to enroll more students in Newark, New Jersey, and New York City,” said Michael Duffy, president of current CMO grantee Great Oaks Foundation. “The thousands of students and families that we serve may never know it, but the CSP provided the lifeblood for our expanding schools. Almost all of the students we serve come from households that are at or below the federal poverty line. Because of the CMO grants we have been awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, we have been able to ensure that when our students come to school they receive an outstanding education.”

Applications are due by June 24 and prospective applicants can join a webinar on Tuesday, May 24 from 2 3:30 p.m. ET to learn more. The Notice Inviting Applications and additional information on the FY16 Competition can be found on the CMO Applicant Info and Eligibility website.

Updated on May 12 to correct the reference to the CREDO study, as well as the webinar and application dates.