Washington Wins Competitive Federal Grant to Expand High-Quality Public School Options
OLYMPIA — SEPTEMBER 28, 2016 — Washington state was awarded a grant to help support the growth of its charter schools, the U.S. Department of Education announced today.
The Department’s Charter Schools Program (CSP), which provides funding for high-quality public charter schools, awarded the grant. It will total $6,973,684 during the next three school years, starting in 2016-17.
“We know from the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision that schools aren’t being funded equitably by the state,” said Randy Dorn, superintendent of public instruction. “And that includes our charter schools. They are relatively new for us and they need support and guidance to meet their goals. If the state is going to have charter schools, we need to make sure they are given the resources they need to keep providing high-quality education to their students. The grant will help that happen.”
The grant’s purpose is to support the growth of new, high-quality public school options, including charter schools, across the state. That will be done through additional professional development and for curricula and classroom materials, as well as for financial assistance to planning, design, and initially implement new charter schools in Washington.
“The law doesn’t allow for the spending of local levies on charter schools,” said Joshua Halsey, executive director of the Washington state Charter School Commission. “This money will help those schools increase student achievement of students attending charter schools, especially educationally disadvantaged students who have historically struggled in traditional public school settings.”
The grant will be administered by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Board of Education, the Charter School Commission and Spokane Public Schools.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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