Magnet Schools Assistance

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Program Office: Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII)
CFDA Number: 84.165A
Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants

What's New

On December 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education announced the FY 2017 Magnet Schools Assistance Program Competition. Unlike previous competitions, this competition is being administered under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Department encourages interested parties to carefully review the FY 2017 Notice Inviting Applications and FY 2017 Correction Notice to learn more about this funding opportunity, how to apply, and what distinguishes this competition from past cycles.

Information regarding technical assistance webinars may be found here.

Deadline to Submit Applications: April 11, 2017

Call for Peer Reviewers

The Department encourages individuals from various backgrounds and professions with content expertise to apply to be a peer reviewer for the FY 2017 Magnet Schools Assistance Program Competition. If you are interested in serving as a peer reviewer, please see the FY 2017 Call for Peer Reviewers, which describes the necessary qualifications. Serving as a peer reviewer for the FY 2017 MSAP Competition does require travel to Washington, DC for application panel review. If you meet the necessary qualifications, please complete and submit the Peer Reviewer Information Checklist along with either your resume or curriculum vitae to

The FY 2017 Peer Review is currently planned as an onsite review to be held in Washington, DC in mid/late- May. Please see the FY 2017 Call for Peer Reviewers for more information.

Deadline to Submit Applications: March 10, 2017


The Magnet Schools Assistance program provides grants to eligible local educational agencies to establish and operate magnet schools that are operated under a court-ordered or federally approved voluntary desegregation plan. These grants assist in the desegregation of public schools by supporting the elimination, reduction, and prevention of minority group isolation in elementary and secondary schools with substantial numbers of minority group students. In order to meet the statutory purposes of the program, projects also must support the development and implementation of magnet schools that assist in the achievement of systemic reforms and provide all students with the opportunity to meet challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards. Projects support the development and design of innovative education methods and practices that promote diversity and increase choices in public education programs. The program supports capacity development–the ability of a school to help all its students meet more challenging standards–through professional development and other activities that will enable the continued operation of the magnet schools at a high performance level after funding ends. Finally, the program supports the implementation of courses of instruction in magnet schools that strengthen students’ knowledge of academic subjects and their grasp of tangible and marketable vocational skills.

The statute defines a magnet school as a public elementary school, public secondary school, public elementary education center, or public secondary education center that offers a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different racial backgrounds.

MSAP Regulations in 34 CFR 280:


Magnet schools offer a wide range of distinctive education programs. Some emphasize academic subjects such as math, science, technology, language immersion, visual and performing arts, or humanities. Others use specific instructional approaches, such as Montessori methods, or approaches found in international baccalaureate programs or early college programs.

Last Modified: 05/22/2017