Wichita school district gets $12 million grant for five magnet schools

09/30/2013 5:20 PM

09/30/2013 5:21 PM

The Wichita school district has been awarded a three-year, $12 million federal grant aimed at expanding programs and reducing minority isolation in schools with substantial proportions of minority students.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Magnet School Assistance Program grants to 27 school districts in a dozen states. Wichita’s was among the largest grants awarded and the only one in Kansas.

According to district-specific information on the U.S. Department of Education website, Wichita’s grant will be directed to five magnet schools with predominantly minority student bodies: Brooks Middle School, Jardine Middle School, Buckner Elementary, L’Ouverture Elementary and Spaght Elementary.

The district will receive nearly $12 million – about $4 million a year for three years.

Plans include establishing “career explorations” programs at Jardine and L’Ouverture and a communications, science and leadership magnet program at Spaght, which is a multimedia magnet.

By the 2015-16 school year, the district “expects each of these schools to be fully enrolled and serving a total of 2,481 students, all of whom will participate in the magnet curriculum and programming,” according to the project information. The five schools have 1,739 students enrolled this year.

District officials declined to comment on the grant Monday but said they would share details Tuesday.

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