School Choice & Charters

Charter Schools News Roundup

By Alan Richard — February 18, 2004 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Move-in Special

Looking for a new home for a charter school? Help from the federal government is coming.

The recently signed omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2004 includes new money for two separate grant programs totaling about $56 million to help charter schools pay for classroom space.

That money includes $18.7 million for state grants under an amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act. States can apply for the aid, then give it to eligible charter schools needing cash to pay for rent, leases, or purchases of school buildings, said Jim Houser, who oversees the program for the U.S. Department of Education.

The program is in addition to the more than $200 million in existing federal charter school grants that states can tap.

Several states with existing programs that help charter schools cover facilities costs—including California, Colorado, and Florida—will benefit. And the federal program could be used as leverage to push for the creation of such charter school facilities programs in other states.

Under a separate program, $37.3 million in new funds will help public agencies, nonprofit groups, and others obtain financing for charter school facilities. The money likely will go to nonprofit development corporations that often help provide financing for charter school buildings.

The two grant programs were part of the spending bill for the Education Department and other agencies that Congress approved on Jan. 22 and President Bush signed the following day. The money is for the fiscal year that began last Oct. 1.

Jon Schroeder, the coordinator of Education Evolving, a charter school organization that’s part of the Center for Policy Studies in St. Paul, Minn., said the funding would help many charter schools that struggle to pay for classroom space. Charter schools usually don’t have the power to raise tax money or tap general school construction funds offered by states, he said.

The predicament can keep charter schools from getting off the ground or finding the best-priced classroom space. Charter schools also can’t seek affordable financing, because they often don’t have the borrowing power of districts.

Charter school operators got more good news, when President Bush unveiled his budget plan for fiscal 2005, Mr. Schroeder added. Mr. Bush, he said, is seeking an additional $100 million for the program to help with charter school financing, and would keep the funding level of facilities grants at $18.7 million in the coming year.

Related Tags:

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Creating Confident Readers: Why Differentiated Instruction is Equitable Instruction
Join us as we break down how differentiated instruction can advance your school’s literacy and equity goals.
Content provided by Lexia Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Another State Is Launching a Private School Choice Program. Will More Follow?
Alabama is the 12th state to offer a private school choice program that all students in the state will be eligible to access.
5 min read
Image of students working at desks, wearing black and white school uniforms.
iStock/Getty
School Choice & Charters Tracker Which States Have Private School Choice?
Education savings accounts, voucher, and tax-credit scholarships are growing. This tracker keeps tabs on them so you don't have to.
School Choice & Charters Opinion What's the State of Charter Schools Today?
Even though there's momentum behind the charter school movement, charters face many of the same challenges as traditional public schools.
10 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters As Private School Choice Grows, Critics Push for More Guardrails
Calls are growing for more scrutiny over where state funds for private school choice go and how students are faring in the classroom.
7 min read
Illustration of completed tasks, accomplishment, finished checklist, achievement or project progression concept. Person holding pencil tick all completed task checkbox.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty