The U.S. Department of Education plans to provide Maryland with $17.2 million over five years to support and grow the state's charter schools.
The federal grant will enable the state to increase the number of charter schools across Maryland, and strengthen those that are already up and running. The money will be used to promote professional development among charter schools, create an advisory group to oversee policy changes and publish performance reports, as well as to implement other national best practices.
The state will also award 21 sub-grants to new, replicated and expanded charter schools with the goal of increasing the number of students served by charter schools by more than one-third. There are currently about 20,000 Maryland students enrolled at 49 public charter schools. Thousands more students remain on waiting lists.
"I believe that every child in Maryland deserves access to a world-class education regardless of what neighborhood they happen to grow up in," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a written statement. "These grants will help provide choices for public charter schools for Maryland families and give additional opportunities for our students."
Maryland is one of nine states to receive a grant this year under the Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Grants to State Entities Program.
The Maryland state education department will receive about $5.5 million this year, with the remainder of the funding contingent on subsequent federal appropriations.
"We are excited about the opportunities that this grant will afford students in Maryland," state superintendent Karen Salmon said in the statement.