Department of Public Instruction grants $8.7 million in funding to Wisconsin charter schools

NOW: Department of Public Instruction grants $8.7 million in funding to Wisconsin charter schools

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Charter schools in Wisconsin are getting an added boost to their budgets.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) announced the recipients of their latest grant Monday, June 13.

The Milwaukee area is benefitting a lot in this round of DPI grants -- six of the 11 recipient schools are right here.

Woodlands School is a charter school on two campuses in the inner city, focused on giving families a choice.

"And really it's about making sure we have innovation and we're providing for all students who really deserve that choice, and those families deserve that choice," said Vickie Brown-Gurley, executive director of Woodlands School.

Charter schools across the country have been seen as a way to empower those in inner cities by giving them a way to escape failing public schools. Wisconsin's Department of Instruction is now trying to grow charter schools across the state.

"We've served the Milwaukee community and we have been serving for over 90 years, and so we are really happy about what DPI is doing," Brown-Gurley said.

DPI just released its fifth round of funding for charter schools totaling $8.7 million. It's sending between $650,000-$800,000 to 11 schools, including six in our area. One of them is Pathways High School at 30th and Wisconsin.

"That's huge. Currently charter schools are not funded. Even the public ones like Woodlands, we are not funded at the same level as a big district," said Brown-Gurley.

Although Woodlands was not among the recipients this time, Vickie Brown-Gurley's planning to apply for the next round of DPI grants for charter schools.

The application is expected to be ready in the fall.

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