Board Approves Grants to 9 Charter Schools to Boost Enrollment of Educationally Disadvantaged Students


Board Approves Grants to 9 Charter Schools to Boost Enrollment of Educationally Disadvantaged Students


State Board members approved $3.2 million in grants to nine charter schools in the first year of a $26 million federally funded program aimed at increasing the number of educationally disadvantaged students attending high-quality charter school and to also expand the number of high-quality charter schools available to underserved students.

Under the five-year program, Advancing Charter Collaboration and Excellence for Student Success, or NC ACCESS, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction expects to award five-year grants of up to $600,000 to as many as 50 schools during the life of the program.

The funds are intended for new and existing charter schools to better meet the needs of traditionally underserved students – those who are economically disadvantaged, homeless or unaccompanied youth, non-native English speakers and students with disabilities.

North Carolina was one of eight states to be awarded grant funding in 2018 under the Expanding Opportunities Through Quality Charter Schools Program from the U.S. Department of Education. The key goals of the federal grant program are to expand opportunities for all students – particularly educationally disadvantaged students – to attend high-quality charter schools and meet challenging academic standards as well as to increase the number of effective charter schools available to students across the country.

The sub-grants to individual schools that the board approved this month were made in three categories: planning and implementation (for new schools entering their planning year), implementation (schools in first three years of operation) and expansion.

A total of 12 schools applied for the program’s initial round of grants. Successful applicants had to include comprehensive plans for student transportation, school lunch, educational and discipline plans tailored to the needs of educationally disadvantaged students, a marketing and recruitment plan and a weighted lottery.

Three schools will each receive $400,000 for planning and implementation: MINA Charter School of Lee County, Movement East Charter School and Wilmington School of the Arts.

Four schools will each receive $250,000 for implementation only: TeamCFA: Bonnie Cone Classical Academy, TeamCFA: Community Public Charter, East Voyager Academy, and Tillery Charter Academy.

Two schools will each receive $600,000 each for expansion: The Exploris School and Invest Collegiate Imagine.

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