National News

FOR RELEASE: July 29, 2009

U.S. Education Department awards $82 million in charter school grants to five states to increase public school options

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) today announced the award of five charter school grants, totaling $82 million, to state education agencies in Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico, Tennessee and Wisconsin to increase public school options in those states.

"Charter schools have an important role to play in the overall strategy of promoting successful school reform and school turnaround models," said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "These five states have an opportunity to be selective and provide new high-quality public charter school choices for students and parents."

The Administration will invest more than $216 million this year to assist in the planning and implementation of public charter schools and dissemination of their successful practices through the Charter School Grants Program. President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2010 budget request includes a $52 million increase in the Charter School Grants Program, providing $268 million and representing the first step toward meeting the Administration's commitment to double financial support for the program over the next four years.

Many charter school operators are today's education entrepreneurs. The purpose of the Charter School Grants Program is to increase financial support for these public schools, build a better national understanding of the public charter school model, and increase the number of high-quality public charter schools across the nation.

More information about the Charter Schools Program is available from the Education Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement at:

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