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IDEA Public Schools awarded $15 million to open new schools in Texas

October 9, 2014

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TX — IDEA Public Schools, a nationally-recognized charter school network, has been awarded $15 million through the competitive Charter School Programs (CSP) Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools grant by the US Department of Education. IDEA is one of two charter school networks in Texas to receive this award.

The CSP grant award is designed to assist high-performing, non-profit charter management organizations replicate and expand. Over the next five years, these funds will support IDEA’s expansion with new schools in San Antonio, Austin, and the Rio Grande Valley.

In an early letter of support for the grant, Senator John Cornyn said, “IDEA is committed to preparing students in underserved communities for college success. If awarded [this grant], IDEA will be able to create 40,000 seats for students” by 2017. He continued with, “In Hidalgo County, where [28] IDEA schools are located, only 60% of residents over the age of 25 have a high-school diploma,” implying the demonstrable need for IDEA’s college preparatory schools.

“We have 15,000 students on our waitlist right now,” said Tom Torkelson, Founder and CEO of IDEA Public Schools. “The $15 million we earned through this grant makes it possible for us to open our doors to more families across Texas – families who are hungry for the free, safe, high-quality, college prep public education we all know they deserve.” In addition to providing for IDEA’s expansion in Texas, the CSP grant also will indirectly support IDEA’s ability to continue achieving 100% high school graduation and college acceptance rates among its students.

The grant funds will be distributed over five years. IDEA will receive its first installment this year for its IDEA Carver College Prep expansion.

To learn more about the IDEA Carver College Prep expansion, join the on-campus Groundbreaking Ceremony on October 22. To learn more about the CSP Grant and this year’s recipients, visit the US Department of Education’s website. To learn more about IDEA Public Schools, contact Vanessa Barry at 512-657-5461 or [email protected], or visit