School Choice & Charters

Charter Schools

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.

—Alan Richard

Related Tags:


Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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.
Data Webinar
Using Integrated Analytics To Uncover Student Needs
Overwhelmed by data? Learn how an integrated approach to data analytics can help.

Content provided by Instructure
Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management

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 Opinion What Do Parents Look for When Choosing a School?
New polling sheds light on what a nationally representative sample of parents had to say on this question this summer.
2 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Virtual Charters in Hot Water Again. Accusations of Fraud Prompt $150M Lawsuit
Indiana officials seek to recoup more than $150 million they say was either wrongly obtained or misspent by a consortium of virtual schools.
Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star
2 min read
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. Rokita filed a lawsuit against a group of online charter schools accused of defrauding the state out of millions of dollars Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings/AP
School Choice & Charters How the Pandemic Helped Fuel the Private School Choice Movement
State lawmakers got a new talking point as they pushed to create and expand programs to send students to private schools.
8 min read
Collage showing two boys in classroom during pandemic wearing masks with cropped photo of feet and arrows going in different directions.
Collage by Gina Tomko/EducationWeek (Images: Getty)
School Choice & Charters Opinion Taking Stock After 30 Years of Charter Schools
Rick Hess speaks with Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, on charter schools turning 30.
8 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty