MSA Gets Historic MAGNET Act Introduced


March 17, 2022

Magnet Schools of America (MSA) applauds the tremendous work of Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT) to formally introduce the Magnet Schools Accessibility, Growth and Nonexclusionary Enrollment Transformation (MAGNET) Act – which will substantially expand federal support for magnet schools for years to come. Senator Murphy and Representative Courtney are joined in their leadership of the MAGNET Act by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Representative Sanford Bishop (D-GA), and Representative Jahana Hayes (D-CT), who are original co-sponsors of the bill.

The MAGNET Act doubles down on the original mission of the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) to improve equity and diversity in public schools by increasing the number of magnets which can receive federal funding. Currently, only new schools are prioritized by MSAP funds, but the MAGNET Act will now provide funds for existing magnets to help with desegregation efforts through a new Supplemental Diversity Grant Program.

“This is a victory for magnet schools and the millions of families, teachers, and students currently in magnets or seeking to join them,” said Todd Mann, Executive Director of Magnet Schools of America. “The MAGNET Act is one of the most significant policy wins in MSA history. With this introduction, we will also be able to more substantially engage and communicate with Congressional members about the vitality of magnet schools and their importance for reducing racial segregation in public schools, and supporting student success for many, many years.”

The federal government currently supports magnet schools through the MSAP – which received $124 million in funding in FY22. At any given time, the program supports approximately 35-50 school districts and makes new awards every 3-5 years. As a result, only a small percentage of the nation’s more than 4,300 magnet schools are receiving federal assistance to support their magnet programs. The rest rely upon state or local funding from the school districts.

The MAGNET Act will dramatically increase the impact of MSAP funding to help magnet schools achieve their goals, including: improving school diversity and integration; implementing rigorous and innovative curriculum and teaching styles; promoting high-level cognitive and collaborative learning experiences; providing college and career-readiness opportunities – and more. In the coming weeks, MSA will be asking its members to reach out to their district representatives to garner continued support of the MAGNET Act and its eventual passage in the House and Senate (H.R. 7098 and S. 3849).

Founded in the wake of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision to promotion racial integration, magnet schools are innovative public schools that use theme-based curricula to attract students from across different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. Operated by and accountable to school districts, magnet schools are the original and largest form of public school choice.


Media Contact: Todd Mann, Executive Director, MSA,

Magnet Schools of America (MSA) is a nonprofit education association that represents more than 4,340 magnet schools serving nearly 3.5 million students across 46 states and the District of Columbia. MSA was founded in 1986 and authorized as a 501(c)3 in 1994. It supports and serves the leaders and teachers of magnet and theme-based schools, while promoting the development of new magnet programs. 

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