July 18, 2014
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Millions in Grants to Improve California Charter School System
SACRAMENTO—Twenty agencies will share $7.5 million in federal grants to develop or improve charter schools in California, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today as he released the funding results for two grants.
"These grants will help districts create high-quality charter schools, and help already successful charter schools share their best practices," Torlakson said.
The $7.5 million in funding is being distributed through two sources: the Public Charter Schools Grant Program Planning and Implementation Grant (Round 2) and the Public Charter Schools Grant Program Dissemination Sub-grant.
In the Public Charter Schools Grant Program Planning and Implementation Grant (Round 2), 13 school districts and nonprofit agencies will receive $5.4 million in federal funding. The grants were awarded to agencies that are likely to develop and open high-quality charter schools. The grantees were selected based on the quality of their application outlining how they would improve student academic achievement. For the list of grantees, visit the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Funding Results: Public Charter Schools Grant Program Planning and Implementation Grant (Round 2) Web page.
In the Public Charter Schools Grant Program Dissemination Sub-grants, seven districts and nonprofit agencies are receiving $2.1 million in federal funding. The grants must be used to share their best practices with other schools on how to significantly improve student achievement. The grants were made available to charter schools that have been serving students for at least three consecutive years, met Academic Performance Index growth targets for at least two of the prior three years, have high levels of parent satisfaction, and demonstrated substantial progress in improving student academic achievement. For the list of grantees, visit the CDE’s Funding Results: Public Charter Schools Grant Program Dissemination Sub-grant Web page.
Charter schools are public schools, which can provide instruction in any of the K-12 grades. They are typically created or organized by a group of teachers, parents, or community leaders or by a community-based organization. California became the second state in the nation in 1992 to adopt public charter school legislation, and there are now 1,161 active charter schools in the state.