ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Department of Education is pushing to expand charter schools nationwide through a $253 million grant allocation, including $22.5 million for New Mexico.
The New Mexico Public Education Department’s funds will be distributed over five years to launch 22 new charter schools and expand another eight schools, according to grant documents. PED also said it will work to improve charter authorizing practices, and the fiscal and organizational performance of the charter school sector.
New Mexico was among nine states that received a total of $145 million through the U.S. Department of Education’s State Entities program.
Wisconsin won the largest allocation, $96 million. The other beneficiaries were Rhode Island, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Minnesota, Maryland and Indiana.
Nonprofit charter management organizations, state agencies and nonprofit groups from across the country also received awards totaling $108.6 million.
“These grants will help supplement state-based efforts to give students access to more options for their education,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statement. “Charter schools are now part of the fabric of American education, and I look forward to seeing how we can continue to work with states to help ensure more students can learn in an environment that works for them.”
New Mexico has roughly 100 charter schools authorized by the state and local districts, including top-performers like the Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics and Science and Cottonwood Classical Preparatory, as well as schools with a string of F grades.
Roughly 7 percent of New Mexico students are enrolled in a charter school.