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$1.6 Million in Federal Grants Awarded to Two Idaho Public Charter Schools

Download Press Release 4-14-2020


Anser Charter School and Idaho Arts Charter School Each Earn $800,000 for expansion

Boise – (April 14, 2020) Idaho’s Communities of Excellence consortium announced the award of $1.6 million in grant funding from the Federal Charter School Program.

A panel of third-party reviewers evaluated applications and awarded grants of $800,000 each to Anser Charter School of Garden City, and Idaho Arts Charter School of Nampa. These schools are free, public, and open to all students. Since 2018 Bluum has awarded $11.98 million in subgrantee awards to 13 charter schools to create 5,832 new public school seats across the state of Idaho.

Idaho’s Communities of Excellence CSP grant is a competitive public charter school grant program funded under the Congressional Every Students Succeeds Act, which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 (ESEA). The Communities of Excellence consortium consists of Bluum, the Idaho Public Charter School Commission, the Idaho State Board of Education, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, and Building Hope.

The grant awards are aimed at increasing the number of high-quality public charter school options for families throughout Idaho. Idaho’s charter schools have consistently delivered strong academic outcomes for students.

Anser Charter School, in Garden City, is one of Idaho’s first charter schools, and has been serving students with their expeditionary learning model for 20-years. Building upon two decades of experience, funding from the CSP grant program will allow Anser to provide a no-cost public education to more students at all grade levels at their current location. Expansion will begin at the K-5 level and grow the 6th to 8th population as students advance. Anser’s student population will grow from 373 to 675 over four years. This growth will support Anser’s mission to bring their unique learning model to a larger, more varied community of families.

In Nampa, Idaho Arts Charter School (IACS) has been providing a tuition-free, arts-focused education to families for the past 15 years. Founded by parents who wanted a school where arts would be in the forefront and gives students space to create and explore their personal talents, Idaho Arts Charter School has maintained a robust waitlist. IACS will use the grant funds to expand their 9th to 12th grades by 60 students each, and to invest in advanced opportunities for their high school students, to help fulfill their college readiness mission.


About Charter Schools

A public charter school is nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, employment practices, and all other operations, and is not affiliated with a sectarian school or religious institution. Public charter schools are open to all students who apply and cannot charge tuition. A charter school receiving CSP funds must use a lottery if more students apply for admission to the charter school than can be admitted. Idaho has 60 public charter schools and collectively they serve over 25,000 public school students.

About Bluum

Bluum is a nonprofit organization committed to ensuring Idaho’s children reach their fullest potential by cultivating great leaders and innovative schools. For more information visit

About the Federal CSP Grant

Idaho received $22 million in funding over five years. At least 90 percent of these dollars will flow to public charter school subgrantees for school start-up, school replication and school expansion. At least seven percent must be utilized for state-level technical assistance activities and program evaluation/research. No more than three percent for Bluum administration.

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