Wisconsin charter schools get boost in federal funding

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MADISON, Wis. W(MTV) - Wisconsin charter schools are getting a boost in funding.

The state Department of Public Instruction has approved more than $7 million in federal funds for charter schools. That money will go to towards planning, opening or expanding the schools, according to a press release.

"Charter schools are one way for educators to innovate and engage the wide range of students in our communities," said state superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor in the press release. "As we determined these awards, we prioritized expanding opportunities to students who face challenges. We want all students, no matter who they are or where they live, to have access to the resources and educational rigor they need to succeed."

This is the second round of federal funds for the state’s charter schools. Over a five year period, the U.S. Department of Education has ear-marked a total of $95 million for the state’s charter schools.

According to the state Department of Public Instruction, the federal grant program prioritizes growth for “high-quality charter schools, especially those that increase access to alternative public school models and improve equity and academic outcomes for students.” The program focuses on K-12 schools.

Any Wisconsin school district can authorize a charter school. Applications for the third round of competitive charter school grants for the 2020-21 school year will become available in late fall or early winter.

The release from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction laid out what charter schools received federal funds:

Planning & Implementation Grants:
Rice Lake Area School District RLASD ARISE, $800,625
Ripon Area School District Barlow Park, $800,000
Mondovi School District Anthony Acres, $800,000
University of Wisconsin-System, Office of Educational Opportunity Milestone Democratic School, $800,000

Implementation Grants:
Lakeland Union High School Lakeland Star Academy, $258,050
Milwaukee Public Schools Green Tree Preparatory Academy, $750,625

Expansion Grants:
Green Bay Area Public Schools John Dewey Academy of Learning, $450,000
Milwaukee Public Schools Academia de Lenguaje y Bellas Artes (ALBA), $750,000
Mauston School District Mauston Montessori, $550,000
Sheboygan Area Public School District Etude Elementary School, $650,000
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Tenor High School, $750,000