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U.S. Department of Education Has $65 Million for Charter Expansion

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The annual federal grant competition for charter management organizations has opened.

The U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday that it will be awarding $65 million to 20 nonprofit charter management organizations that serve primarily low-income students to expand or open new schools.

Previous awardees include well-known networks from across the country such as Los Angeles-based Green Dot, Houston-based Yes Prep, Chicago-based Noble Network, New York City-based Success Academy, and KIPP, to name a few.

The CMO grant competition is part of the federal Charter Schools Program which has awarded over $3 billion to charter schools since its inception, according to the Education Department. Because state laws often do not provide startup money for charter schools, federal funding has been crucial to the growth of the charter sector.

The Charter Schools Program received a significant boost in the federal budget passed in December. It got an increase of $80 million, putting the program at its highest funding level ever: $333 million for fiscal year 2016.

Applications are due June 20, and the Education Department is holding a webinar for potential applicants May 16 at 2 pm EST. More information can be found on the Department's website.

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