House Appropriations Approves $18 Million Increase for Magnet Schools Assistance Program

Contact: Hannah Berkman,


House Appropriations Approves $18 Million Increase for Magnet Schools Assistance Program

May 9, 2019 (WASHINGTON) – The House Committee on Appropriations voted yesterday to approve a $18 million increase in funding for the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP), raising the federal funding level to $125 million for FY20. This increase was included in the appropriations package for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies (LHHS), and follows months of congressional outreach by Magnet Schools of America on behalf of its vast membership of magnet schools.

“This is a major win, not just for the nearly 3.5 million students already in magnet schools, but also for the tens of thousands of students on waitlists eager to join them,” said Todd Mann, Executive Director of Magnet Schools of America. “The Magnet Schools Assistance Program provides crucial funding to magnet schools so that they can provide a high-quality, theme-based education to as many students as possible. By increasing funding for MSAP, the House Committee on Appropriations has demonstrated its commitment to improving access to strong schools for all students, regardless of their zip code. We are hopeful that the full House will pass the bill, and that the Senate will then follow suit and do the right thing for American students.”

This year’s $18 million funding addition for MSAP is the largest single-year increase for the grant program in more than a decade. Public school systems use MSAP funds to support their community’s magnet schools to accomplish a laundry list of crucial goals: improve school diversity and integration; implement rigorous and innovative educational curriculum and teaching styles; promote high-level cognitive and collaborative learning experiences; provide college and career readiness opportunities; provide critically needed professional development to teachers; maintain partnerships that facilitate mentorships, internships and community field trips; increase parent and community involvement; and increase student achievement.

Magnet Schools of America encouraged increased federal investment in magnet schools by showcasing the wide breadth of its schools and the many benefits they provide to students. The 4,340 magnet schools in the U.S. use innovative, theme-based curricula to attract students from across different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. Themes range from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to fine and performing arts to zoology, from world languages to agriculture to career and technical education (CTE), and everything in between.

Magnet schools were founded in the wake of the landmark Brown v. Board decision to promote racial integration. These public schools are open and accessible to all students, and most use a lottery system or other non-academic criteria for admission. Operated by and accountable to school districts, magnet schools are the original and largest form of public school choice.

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