BALTIMORE, MD—As an acknowledgement of the progress made by Maryland in charter school development, the U.S. Department of Education recently awarded a supplemental grant of $6.1 million to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for its Charter Schools Program.
This award brings the total federal funding for the program to $23.3 million over five years, and allows MSDE to expand charter school initiatives to offer more choices in public education to Maryland families.
In 2017, MSDE received a five-year, $17.2 million federal grant from the Expanding Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Program to expand the state’s public charter schools. Based on the progress made since that initial award, MSDE this fall received supplemental funding to support additional grants for the expansion of existing high-quality public charter schools, and for the creation of new public charter schools.
MSDE’s original goal of up to 21 grant awards over the five-year project can now increase by up to five additional awards, thanks to the supplemental grant. The added funding will also provide increased opportunities for technical assistance to charter schools, charter school developers, and local school systems with responsibility for authorizing and monitoring public charter schools.
“Across the nation, public charter schools are leading the way on innovation, and this federal support allows Maryland to further develop our charter school programs,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “We owe it to our kids to think more creatively about education, and for many of our children who need help the most, public charters are one of the most effective and proven solutions.”
“The additional support from the federal government is an indication of how effectively Maryland has implemented our charter school initiatives. We look forward to more progress in this area in the upcoming year,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “Public charter schools are an example of how we can diversify the opportunities our students have to succeed and prepare them for college or the workforce.”
MSDE has held two grant competitions so far in the Charter Schools Program, awarding twelve grants to schools across Maryland.
MSDE plans a third competition in the 2019-2020 school year.