Express your support for the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) in the FY 2020 budget. MSAP provides funds to public school districts to create, expand, or improve magnet school programs. It is the only federal education grant designed specifically to promote innovation, choice, and diversity in the classroom
Magnet schools are public schools that provide specialized theme-based curriculum and instruction in subject areas including STEM, Fine and Performing Arts, or International Baccalaureate. There are approximately 4,340 magnet schools in the United States that serve nearly 3.5 million students. Free to attend and accessible to all students, magnet schools enroll a higher proportion of low-income students and are more racially and ethnically diverse than traditional public schools. Furthermore, magnet schools are administered by local public school districts, ensuring they are accountable for delivering great results to the communities they serve.
In a 2017 nationwide survey, 67% of magnet schools reported having a waiting list of parents eager to get their students into these high-performing schools. As policymakers and school districts seek to provide more opportunities for students and more choices for parents, with sustained and increased funding, magnet schools can continue to answer the call for high-quality public education.
To meet growing public demand and to make an investment toward achieving the president’s goal of providing school choice options to all 11 million students living in poverty, we recommend that funding for MSAP be increased by 17% to $123 million. With this additional support, Congress and the White House can ensure that more parents have the option to send their child to a school that focuses on their strengths, engages them, and motivates them to learn.