This week is National Charter Schools Week, and LISC is pleased to announce a second round of $800,000 Spark Opportunity Grants to 21 persevering charters schools across the country—schools that have demonstrated their commitment to educating diverse populations of students and to organizational and academic excellence. The awards will help these schools pursue renovations or build new permanent facilities.
LISC and the Walton Family Foundation have announced the first recipients of the Spark Opportunity Grant Program, a $2 million initiative to provide planning grants to support the creation of affordable facilities for schools in Opportunity Zones and other under-resourced communities. Twenty-six high-performing schools will receive the initial round of funding, and a second round is already open to applicants.
Rubinger Fellow Juanita Woods is a community development practitioner and city council member in Monroe, LA who specializes in helping people skill up to take on living-wage jobs with local employers. She spoke with LISC about her fellowship project to provide apprenticeships for young people, the challenges of wealth-building in historically underserved communities, and the inspiration she gets from empowering youth on their life journeys.
As lawmakers in Providence confront a crisis in the state’s school system, LISC Rhode Island ED Jeanne Cola weighs in with an appeal to consider the comprehensive factors that contribute to students’ struggles, or successes—particularly housing. “As we look at bold ways to improve dismal test scores and address high absenteeism…now is the time to take a holistic approach and provide a consistent funding mechanism to add, or restore, stable and secure housing for Rhode Island residents,” she writes in an op-ed for The Providence Journal.
LISC and the Walton Family Foundation have launched a new grant program to help charter school operators open facilities in Opportunity Zones and other under-capitalized communities. Applications are available beginning October 1.