In an impressive victory for MSA and the magnet school community, the United States Congress agreed to a final budget agreement that provides an additional $7.35 million for the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) or $105 million in funding for FY 2018. This added support will allow the department to award new out-of-cycle grants in the future.
“Our association is very encouraged by the decision by congressional leaders to invest additional funding in magnet schools. This is a recognition of the success of magnet programs across the country,” said Magnet Schools of America (MSA), Executive Director, Todd Mann. “This new funding will allow more school districts to develop specialized theme-based magnet programs that improve student outcomes and meet the demands of families.”
In another legislative victory for magnet schools, MSA worked with the National Coalition on School Diversity to also ensure that an outdated anti-busing provision from the 1970s did not prevent current MSAP grantees from using their funding for school transportation as authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). See provision below.
The agreement includes a new general provision to exempt the Magnet Schools program from one long-standing general provision on transporting students. ESSA reauthorized the Magnet School program in 2015 and allowed funds to be used for transportation and this agreement should not impede the Magnet School program from doing so.
The inclusion of this provision in the budget will allow at least seven current MSAP grantees to continue with their plans to provide federally supported transportation services to students that wish to attend their new magnet program(s).