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Federal Grant Funds Available to State’s Largest Charter School Authorizer

by Darren Svan in Idaho Education News

Boise nonprofit Bluum is ready to support the Idaho Public Charter School Commission — the state’s largest authorizer — with up to $750,000 in grant funds, particularly after recent research indicates that the agency authorizing charter schools matters.

The money can be used to purchase new equipment and programs or hire experts to help strengthen an authorizer’s operations.

A decision about collaborating with Bluum likely won’t happen until a new director is hired, which is expected before the end of the year, based on comments at a meeting this month. Two more special meetings are scheduled, one this month and one in December. The seven-person board also has three new members whose appointments are pending Senate confirmation in the upcoming legislative session.

Since August, Alex Adams, the state’s budget director, has served as commission’s interim director, following the departure of two directors in the span of five months. The commission reported that the search for a new director is narrowing. Ten candidates applied.

Regarding the collaboration, “that would have to be a decision that was made by the commission staff and the board. We’re not going to tell them what to do,” said Terry Ryan, Bluum CEO.


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