- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Four Chicago public charter schools have been awarded two-year federal grants totaling $2.1 million.

The Illinois State Board of Education administers the federal Charter Schools Program in the state and announced the grantees Friday.

The grants will go to ASPIRA Business and Finance, LEARN Charter Network (for two schools), and Frazier Preparatory Academy. The state board says the awards are based on an application process that included three external reviews.

Each school operator submitted plans for involving families and community members. They also told how they would attract underserved students and address their needs and how they would recruit and retain diverse and high-quality staff.

Superintendent of Education Tony Smith is encouraging educators across Illinois to consider applying for a charter school grant. The grant process begins again in January.

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