Charter schools Industry leaders infuriated by boost in government funding

Charter schools are mostly a state policy issue, but the federal government significantly expanded its role in the sector this month with changes made to the running and funding of a major grant program.The Charter Schools Program, which has awarded over $3 billion to help launch new charter schools and expand high-performing models, got an $80 million funding increase over last year, in the budget passed last week by Congress. Slated to receive $333 million for fiscal 2016, the Charter School Program will be at its highest level of funding ever, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. That's a big deal to the fast-growing charter sector, especially in areas of the country that don't have access to a lot of philanthropy dollars."Few states have funding set aside for the launching of new schools, which is really critical if you want to launch properly," said Nina Rees, the president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. "So the federal government has been the only source, and continues to be. With this increase, they are definitely sending a signal that they are interested in the growth of charter schools across state lines."

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