October 15, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Legislative Liaison/PIO
(505) 827-7803 or 988-0582 pager

PED Receives $6.1 Million Grant to Support
High-Quality Charter Schools

(Santa Fe, NM)—The Public Education Department (PED) has received $6.1 million in grant funding for 2004-2005 under the U.S. Department of Education’s (USDOE) Public Charter Schools Program to help create more successful examples of charter schools and share information on how charter schools work. This award is the second installment of a three-year grant.

“Charter schools in New Mexico are on the rise. To ensure they succeed and continue to grow, we must support them in their first critical years. This funding will help us increase the number of high-quality charter schools in New Mexico and build on school improvement efforts already underway,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. García.

Ninety-five percent of the grant must be awarded through sub-grants to approved charter schools within their first three years of operation. Up to 10 percent of the sub-grant funding must be given to charter schools in existence for more than three years to share lessons learned from high-quality charter schools on how to create and sustain high-quality, accountable schools.

In 1999, the New Mexico Legislature expanded the Charter School Law to allow for 75 start up and 25 conversion charter schools to be established in the state over any five-year period. The new grant will support up to 49 charter schools (the number of approved charter schools in New Mexico) and an additional estimated 15 charter schools that might form in the next year.

In 2000, the PED received a $4.45 million grant from the USDOE’s Public Charter Schools Program that resulted in more than $14 million over three years to assist up to 60 new charter schools. Under the three-year grant approved in 2003, New Mexico has received $11.8 million to date.