21st Century Preparatory School

Matthew Lester, a third-grade teacher at 21st Century Preparatory School, works with students on their projects. The school emphasizes hands-on, project-based learning. 21st Century Preparatory School opened in the fall of 2002 and is one of 234 charter schools across the state.

21st Century Preparatory School

Wisconsin got the largest grant in the U.S. this year for charter schools, with the state education head saying the money will go to expanding schools for high school students from low-income families.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded a five-year, $95 million grant to the Wisconsin Charter Schools Program earlier this month.

The program will use the grant to support the opening of 80 new or replicated quality charter schools and to expand 27 schools.

"Our federal grant will help us expand charter school access throughout Wisconsin, especially for our high school kids from low-income families," said State Superintendent Tony Evers.

"All kids, regardless of their circumstances, deserve access to innovative opportunities through our public schools," Evers said. "This grant will help us promote more collaborations and partnerships to take the lessons learned in charter schools and apply that success across the state."

Wisconsin currently has 234 charter schools with over 44,000 students.

The grant will allow for sub-grants to quality charter school operators to replicate or expand existing schools, with priority given to schools serving secondary school students.

The grant also supports the new Wisconsin Resource Center for Charter Schools, tasked to provide schools, authorizer agents and governing boards development programs and partnerships and relationships among schools across the state, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction said.


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