Proposed New Charter School in Elgin Awarded $950,000 in Federal Start-up Grants From Charter Schools Program

Charter school will offer families an innovative approach to learning


ELGIN, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced a federally funded $950,000 award to the Elgin Charter School Initiative. The two-part grant will support the opening of the Elgin Math and Science Academy Charter School within School District U-46. The proposed school will focus on closing opportunity and achievement gaps in the Elgin community through the hands-on and explorative Expeditionary Learning (EL) model.

The grant is part of the federally funded Charter Schools Program, through which ISBE can award $42 million total in federal funds to expand the number of high-quality and educationally diverse charter schools in Illinois and evaluate the effects of charter schools on student academic achievement, staff, and parents.

“Congratulations to the Elgin Charter School Initiative and the Elgin community,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “High-quality school options allow families to find the best learning environment for their children’s unique interests and needs. I encourage high-performing charter school operators across the state to consider applying for the next round of Charter Schools Program funds to expand opportunities for more families. I encourage school district leaders to take advantage of the opportunity to bring additional federal funding and high-quality school choices to their communities.”

The Elgin Charter School Initiative will use the $150,000 in Program Design funds and the $800,000 in Initial Implementation funds to provide staff and teachers with intensive supports and training in the EL education model, which encourages students to learn by doing. Educators at the Elgin Math and Science Academy Charter School will shepherd students to be leaders of their own learning and achieve bold goals.

“Our team at the Elgin Charter School Initiative is grateful for the Charter Schools Program funding and for ISBE’s vote of confidence in our proposed Elgin Math and Science Academy Charter School,” said Kerin Kelly, president of the Elgin Charter School Initiative. “We are excited to bring a unique math and science charter school based on the EL education model to School District U-46. As an all-volunteer team, the CSP grant will allow us to have a great start and to make important hires prior to our school opening in 2018.” 

ISBE plans to release the next Charter Schools Program Request for Proposals in July.