The state is getting a $95.8 million grant from the feds to expand charter schools across Wisconsin.

The five-year grant, which is the largest in the country this year, will go toward expanding the state charter schools program by opening 80 new or replicated charter schools and expanding 27 around the state.

It’ll also be used to establish a Wisconsin Resource Center for Charter Schools that seeks to offer technical support and advice surrounding best practices.

The feds awarded similar grants to eight other states, including Indiana and Minnesota.

“Our federal grant will help us expand charter school access throughout Wisconsin, especially for our high school kids who are from low-income families,” state Superintendent Tony Evers said in a statement last week. “All kids, regardless of their circumstances, deserve access to innovative opportunities through our public schools.”

Department of Public Instruction spokesman Tom McCarthy said the state has received a similar grant from the feds five times before: in 1996 for $6.4 million total; 1999 for $17.2 million; 2002 for $27.7 million; 2005 for $52.5 million; and 2009 for $69.6 million.

He also said the money the state’s getting from the feds will be awarded on a competitive basis by the state to charter schools across Wisconsin. The state, he said, would hand out around 20 grants to charter schools each year for the next five years across three different grant categories.

Currently, the state has 234 charter schools with more than 44,000 students.

See the state release from last week:

See the feds’ release:

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