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$4.9 Million in New Federal Public Charter School Grants Awarded


CONTACT: Sarah Meskin




Boise – (June 13, 2024) Idaho’s $25 million Building on Success for Future Excellence program led by the Idaho education non-profit Bluum announced the award of $4,977,122 in competitive grant funding from the Federal Charter School Program.

A panel of third-party reviewers evaluated applications and awarded grants for five schools across Idaho:

• $2,000,000 for North Idaho Classical Academy in Bonners Ferry to create up to 390 seats.

• $2,000,000 for Gem Prep in the Ammon/Idaho Falls area to create up to 574 seats.

• $247,500 for Fernwaters in Salmon to create up to 64 seats.

• $529,000 for Pathways in Meridian to create up to 300 seats.

• $200,622 for RISE in Kimberly to create up to 100 seats.

These schools are free, public, and open to all students. Idaho’s Building on Success for Future 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). Idaho public charter schools do not receive local property tax dollars and operate solely on state and federal education funds 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. Idaho’s public charter schools serve all children across our state – urban, suburban, rural and remote.

North Idaho Classical Academy, in Bonners Ferry, is a start-up school that plans to open in 2025 as the third school in American Classical Schools of Idaho’s (ACS-I) network. The school is authorized by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission.

Gem Prep: Ammon/Idaho Falls plans to open in 2026 as a start-up school, being the 7th school in the Gem Prep network of public charter schools. The school is authorized by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission.

Fernwaters is expanding their current school by 64 seats. The school is authorized by the Salmon School District.

RISE is adding grades and expanding their school by up to 100 students. The school is authorized by the Kimberly School District.

Pathways Meridian is a startup charter school for at-risk middle and high school students. The school is authorized by the West Ada School District.

“We are proud to support these school models in serving Idaho public school students, and we are excited that three of these schools are authorized by their local public school districts,” said Bluum CEO Terry Ryan.


About Public 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’s public charter schools perform well on Idaho state assessments compared to state averages. This is true for all students, economically disadvantaged students and minority students.

About Bluum

Bluum is a Boise-based education 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 $24,870,000 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. Bluum was one of only ten state entities across the country to receive competitive federal CSP grant funding in 2023. For more information see HERE.