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Three Charter School Systems Named as Finalists for Broad Foundation Prize

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The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has named three finalists for its annual Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. The contenders for this year's prize are Achievement First, KIPP Foundation and IDEA Public Schools.

The award honors charter systems in urban areas that have made big strides in raising performance and closing achievement gaps for minority and low-income students. The winner, which is scheduled to be announced July 1 at the National Charter Schools Conference in Las Vegas, Nev., will get $250,000 to spend on college-readiness efforts for its students. The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools is the sister award to the foundation's Prize for Urban Education which recognizes traditional public school districts.

"Our hope is that all public charter schools and traditional district schools can learn from the practices of these high-performing systems,"  Broad Foundation President Bruce Reed said in a statement.

The finalists vary in size and geographic scope: KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) is a national network with more than 50,000 students, Achievement First's network of 25 schools in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island serves a little over 8,000 students, while IDEA Public Schools operates only in Texas with 15,000 students. 

In order to be eligible for the prize, the charter school system had to serve a large percentage of low-income students or students of color. They also had to have a minimum of 2,500 students and been operating at least five schools for the last four years.

The Broad Foundation has been awarding the prize since 2012. Achievement First and KIPP were both nominated last year but neither won first place. That honor went to New York City-based Uncommon Schools.

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