2 Manchester charter schools to receive share of $6.8M in federal charter school grants

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The Founders Academy. in Manchester is one of seven NH charter schools receiving federal grants. Photo/Carol Robidoux

CONCORD, NH – On Wednesday the state Department of Education announced $6.8 million of first-round funding from federal charter school grants, including two Manchester schools.

These grants are for start-up and expansion costs, and replication grants for existing schools, part of a $46 million federal public charter school grant the state’s education department was awarded in a competitive grant proposal in 2019.  

“We are excited to be able to award these grants for these innovative public education programs,” said Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut. “It was a robust competition with 14 programs applying for the funds. The expansion of high-quality public education  programming across our state serves our students and our families well.” 

Two of the schools, The Founders Academy and Spark Academy of Advanced Technologies, are located in Manchester.

Each start-up grant can be up to $1.2 million, with an additional $300,000 for meeting Department identified priorities such as opening schools in under-served areas, targeting services for at-risk students, and showcasing unique and innovative educational programs not widely offered in the state.  

The expansion grants can be up to $600,000 and provide funds for schools to expand enrollment, grade levels, and educational programming.  

Expansion grants can be up to $1.2 million and provide funds for schools to replicate a successful charter program in another part of the state. 

“Having worked in public charter schools for the last two decades, I know the positive influence that an education program that fits the child can be,” said Tal Bayer, state charter school administrator. “We are working with all of our programs to bring excellent and innovative  educational opportunities to all students.”  

The Department of Education anticipates releasing a second round of funding in the late fall.  

For information on the federal charter school grant program, please reach out to the Office of  Chartered Public Schools, NH Department of Education, at NHCSP@doe.nh.gov

First Round Awards

School Name Type of Award Amount of Award
Gathering Waters Chartered Public School , KeeneStart-Up $1,500,000
Heartwood Public Charter School, Berlin Startup $1,199,043
Northeast Woodland Chartered Public School, Conway Start-Up $1,500,000
Spark Academy of Advanced Technologies,  ManchesterStart-Up $1,499,868
MicroSociety Academy Charter School,  NashuaExpansion $599,750
The Founders Academy,  ManchesterExpansion $600,000
CSI Charter School , ConcordReplication $339,552


About this Author


Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!