The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $15.7 million for fiscal year 2015-16 to Arizona to provide additional high quality charter schools to Arizona’s students.
“As public schools serving public students, charter schools are focused on improving the number of quality seats for Arizona’s students,” stated Eileen Sigmund, Arizona Charter Schools Association president, in a press release. “It takes two years of planning to start a high quality charter, but schools don’t get funding until students start class. Without start up funding, it’s very difficult to find a facility, purchase textbooks and desk, and hire teachers. This grant enables our charter schools to be intentional and start right from day one.”
Over 170,500 students attend 533 public charter schools for this current school year, the release stated. In 2014, 73 percent of charter schools with two years of letter grades either improved their letter grade or earned an A (A-Alt) or B (B-Alt).
Since the program’s inception, the United States Department of Education has invested about $47.5 million in Arizona’s charter schools, with an aim of strengthening accountability and quality of our schools, the release stated.
This year’s state grant program awarded $125 million in new grants to eight states. The funding will enable them to run state-level grant competitions to support approximately 400 new and expanded public charter schools, according to the U.S. Department of Education.