The No Child Left Behind Act's Charter Schools Program is a competitive three-year grant that supports states' efforts to plan, design, operate and distribute information about charter schools. The following is an excerpt from an article by The Associated Press covering Deputy Secretary of Education Gene Hickok and Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr.'s Charter School Grant announcement for the state of Maryland:
"Maryland received $3.8 million today from the federal government to fund charter schools, money state officials hope will help increase alternatives to the public schools. Charter schools will be eligible to compete for up to $200,000 over three years under the plan, announced by State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick as she and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. received the payment from federal officials today. The state hopes the money will help fund as many as 30 new charter schools by the 2006-2007 school year. It is the first installment of $13 million in federal funding the state expects to receive over the next three years."
"Grasmick said the principles of charter schools, billed by proponents as alternatives to poorly performing public schools, serve as a model of what educators want to see in all schools. 'Choice, freedom, accountability and community involvement are what we really want for our public schools,' she said."
"The state's General Assembly passed legislation in 2003 enabling county school boards to approve applications for charter schools. Charter schools are publicly funded but have more freedom to set curricula and policies than their school system counterparts."
"The federal No Child Left Behind law encourages states to develop charter school programs as a way to give parents more freedom to choose where their children go to school. 'The charter school movement is transforming America's understanding about what public education is all about,' said Eugene Hickok, deputy secretary for education."
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