Wisconsin won more than $95 million from a competitive, five-year federal grant for the Wisconsin Charter Schools Program, according to an announcement last week by the U.S. Department of Education.
The grant, the largest in the country this year, will support the growth of high-quality charter schools, especially secondary schools that serve educationally disadvantaged students; strengthen and improve charter authorizing quality; and promote and support collaboration and sharing of best practices across the state.
“Our federal grant will help us expand charter school access throughout Wisconsin, especially for our high school kids who are from low-income families,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “All kids, regardless of their circumstances, deserve access to innovative opportunities through our public schools. This grant will help us promote more collaboration and partnerships to take the lessons learned in charter schools and apply that success across the state.”
Wisconsin was an early adopter of the charter school concept, enacting legislation in 1993 with 13 public charter schools created under the initial law. Today, the state has 234 charter schools, enrolling more than 44,000 students. This is Wisconsin’s sixth and largest federal grant to support charter school development.