By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
New Schools for Alabama, a non-profit organization that helps establish public charter schools in the state, has been approved a $25 million federal grant.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement each year awards competitive grants to state entities that seek to expand public charter schools.
New Schools for Alabama asked for $25 million “to kickstart and sustain the presence of high-quality charter schools throughout Alabama, specifically for our most educationally disadvantaged students,” according to its submitted application.
Advocates hope to increase the number of charter schools in Alabama by at least 15 over the next five years, focusing especially on opportunities for disadvantaged students. The group said it also wants to make the state a nation leader in the quality of the charter authorizing process.
Each individual school will be eligible for $1.5 million in start-up funding.
Other grant winners included the New Hampshire Department of Education at $46 million and the Washington State Charter Schools Association at $19 million. New Schools for Alabama notched the highest score on its grant application.
“We’re really excited about what this can do for kids,” New Schools Executive Director Tyler Barnett told Alabama Daily News.
“Our mission is to support the growth of excellent public charter schools in Alabama to ensure that every child has access to a quality public education. This funding will allow us to accelerate that growth and expand access to excellent public charter schools.”