Seven Idaho Public Charter Schools Awarded $4.18 Million in New School Grants

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Boise – (May 14, 2021) Idaho’s Communities of Excellence consortium announced the award of $4.18 million in grant funding from the Federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) to seven Idaho public charter schools. Bluum has conducted five rounds of grant competitions since 2019, and has committed $17.6 million to support the startup, expansion or replication of 22 public charter schools in communities across Idaho.

“We are proud to work with so many great Idaho school leaders, board members and their partners who have dedicated themselves to providing our families with quality learning options that simply didn’t exist previously,” says Terry Ryan, Bluum’s CEO and Project Director for the Communities of Excellence program.

The grant awards are aimed at increasing the number of high-quality public charter school options for Gem State. Idaho’s charter schools have consistently delivered strong academic outcomes for students. In 2021, five of Idaho’s top ten public high schools as ranked by the US News and World report are public charter schools.

The current round of grants will allow the seven subgrantee schools to add a total of 2,136 new students. Funding comes from a $22 million U.S. Department of Education grant awarded last year to Idaho’s Communities of Excellence consortium.

Members of the consortium include the Boise-based education nonprofit and project lead Bluum; the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation; the Idaho State Board of Education; the Idaho Public Charter School Commission; and Building Hope, a national charter school facilities financing nonprofit organization.

Schools and communities receiving Charter Schools Program Grants this round are:

  • Cardinal Academy in Boise
  • Doral Academy in Meridian
  • Elevate Academy Nampa
  • Elevate Academy North in Post Falls
  • Pinecrest Academy in Twin Falls
  • RISE Charter School in Kimberly
  • The Academy (Connor) in Chubbuck

Winning narratives and reviewer comments available here: https://www.bluum.org/subgrantees/

Summary of Current Recipients

Award Date School Community Amount New Seats
May 2019 Gem Prep Meridian Meridian $1,250,000 574
May 2019 Forge International Middleton $1,250,00 653
May 2019 White Pine STEM Ammon $613,353 182
May 2019 Future Public School Garden City $1,250,000 576
May 2019 Compass Public Charter Meridian $800,000 319
November 2019 Elevate Academy Caldwell $1,250,000 487
November 2019 Fern Waters Salmon $133,224 57
November 2019 Gem Prep Meridian North Meridian $800,000 574
November 2019 Hayden Canyon Hayden $800,000 434
November 2019 MOSAICS Caldwell $800,000 540
November 2019 Treasure Valley C.A. Fruitland $1,250,000 702
April 2020 Anser Public Charter School Garden City $800,000 302
April 2020 Idaho Arts Nampa $800,000 260
December 2020 Alturas Preparatory Academy Idaho Falls $800,000 602
May 2021 Cardinal Academy Boise $376,085 120
May 2021 Doral Academy Meridian $500,000 348
May 2021 Elevate Academy Nampa Nampa $800,000 486
May 2021 Elevate Academy North Post Falls $800,000 308
May 2021 Pinecrest Academy Twin Falls $501,600 367
May 2021 RISE Charter School Kimberly $405,615 225
May 2021 The Academy (Connor) Chubbuck $800,000 282
Totals: $17,579,2877 8,972
Per Seat Investment: $1,959

All dollars for subgrantees were allocated through a rigorous third-party review process approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Funded schools span the state of Idaho from the Treasure Valley, to Fruitland, up north to Hayden, and down through Salmon to Idaho Falls and back southwest to Twin Falls. The average grant amount per subgrantee school is $799,085 and vary in amounts from $1.25 million to $133,000 based on the number of new seats to be created.

Instructionally school models range from Classical Education, to Career Technical Education, to International Baccalaureate to STEM Education. Five of the schools serve rural communities, and most are at or above their district averages in serving needy students.

These grant dollars are also available to public school districts interested in converting and redesigning struggling traditional schools that may operate in their communities.

For more information about the grant, visit www.bluum.org/idaho-csp-grant

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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 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 www.bluum.org.

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.