|For Immediate Release|
|Wednesday, June 6, 2007|
|Contact:||Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106|
Massachusetts Awarded Federal $9 Million Charter School Start Up Grant
MALDEN - Massachusetts has received a $9 million grant to support newly created charter schools from the U.S. Department of Education. The Commonwealth was one of 10 states selected for the federal multi-million dollar grant award, offered to help increase the public education options available nationwide.
The competitive three-year grants are from the USED's Public Charter Schools Program, which supports states' efforts to plan, design, implement, and disseminate information about charter schools. Massachusetts first received this grant in 1996, and grants the money over a three-year period to charter schools to assist with start-up costs. On average new and recently-chartered schools receive about $200,000 per year.
In addition to Massachusetts the other states to receive the federal grant this year are Michigan, California, Ohio, Georgia, Indiana, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Maryland.
"As a result of this federal support we are able to provide parents with the educational options they need and deserve for their children," said Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll. "Charter schools have had great success in Massachusetts and I am grateful to the federal authorities for recognizing that and providing us with the resources to continue to expand our public school system in the future."
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings agreed.
"As I've traveled around the country, I've had a chance to visit many charter schools. These schools are breaking apart the myth that some children can't learn," Spellings said. "By acting as laboratories for best practices, they are changing attitudes about education and they're getting great results for kids."
There are currently 59 charter schools operating in Massachusetts: 51 Commonwealth charter schools and 8 Horace Mann charter schools. The state's charter school statute allows for the creation of up to 120 charter schools, including 48 Horace Mann charters and 72 Commonwealth charters.
Three of the state's most successful charter schools were recently honored as being among the nation's best by the Center for Education Reform. They are: the Excel Academy Charter School in East Boston, the MATCH Charter Public High School in Boston, and the Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Roxbury.
The 53 schools honored by CER were selected from the nearly 4,000 charter schools nationwide. The honorees came from 24 states, and were recognized for their achievement, innovation, and accountability.
Nationwide there are approximately 3,940 charter schools serving more than 1.16 million students in 40 states and Washington, D.C.
For more information on charter schools look online at www.doe.mass.edu/charter.