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Millions in Federal Grants Awarded to Expand Charter Schools

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The U.S. Department of Education announced it's awarding $253 million to help expand charter schools.

This year's recipients of grants from the annual Charter Schools Program include nine states and 17 charter management organizations, which are nonprofit groups that run networks of charter schools.

This is the first round of the grants handed out under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and new rules dictated by the relatively new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act.

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One major change is that charter school boards and support organizations can now apply for the grants, whereas before only state education agencies were eligible.

Under that new provision, the Misssissippi Charter School Authorizer Board and the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center, Inc. were both awarded a little over $4 million each for fiscal year 2017.

It's also the first year that the Education Department is awarding money specifically to help charter schools pay for facilities. Six nonprofit groups and two states are getting a total of $56 million under that new funding stream.

Some $52 million will be going to charter management organizations and $144.7 million will be go to states.

"These grants will help supplement state-based efforts to give students access to more options for their education," said DeVos in a statement. "What started as a handful of schools in Minnesota has blossomed into nearly 7,000 charter schools across the country. Charter schools are now part of the fabric of American education, and I look forward to seeing how we can continue to work with states to help ensure more students can learn in an environment that works for them."

You can find the full list of grantees here.

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