New $10 Million Initiative Aims to Establish Public Charter Schools on HBCU Campuses

Bloomberg Philanthropies in conjunction with the United Negro College Fund recently announced a new $10 million effort to work with historically Black colleges and universities to start new public charter schools in the South — where more than half of America’s Black students live — and recruit substantially more Black teachers and principals to work in them.

In an op-ed piece announcing the effort, Michael Bloomberg and Michael Lomax, CEO of the UNCF, stated that “overall, Black children in urban areas are achieving significantly better results in public charter schools than in traditional district schools. There is nothing stopping America from replicating these successful schools in cities across the country except a lack of political will, from many elected officials in both parties.”

Bloomberg and Lomax added that “high-performing charter schools create cultures of care, excellence, and accountability and often feature longer school days and years than traditional public schools. They also do a better job of hiring Black teachers and principals.”

The new effort will examine the possibility of incubating new public charter schools on HBCU campuses, helping alumni to start new charters, and supporting community-led efforts to open and expand charters. It is hoped that the effort will generate 150,000 new classroom seats in high-quality charter schools in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas.

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