What Is A Magnet School?
WHAT IS A MAGNET SCHOOL?
A “Magnet School” is a public elementary school, public secondary school, public elementary education center, or public secondary education center that offers a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different racial backgrounds.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MAGNET AND A CHARTER SCHOOL?
Charter schools have a charter that grants them autonomy, while magnet schools operate under the same administration as other public schools. A charter school may, however, operate a magnet school program.
WHAT IS THE MAGNET SCHOOLS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?
Federal support for magnet schools began in 1972 with the Emergency School Aid Act (ESAA), which authorized grants for school districts that were desegregating schools. ESAA funding ended in 1983, but support for magnet schools resumed in 1984 with the authorization of the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP).
MSAP provides financial support to K-12 public schools to assist in desegregation by supporting the elimination, reduction, and prevention of racial group isolation. Racial group isolation is determined by each school district or local education agency (LEA), so the racially isolated group will vary by school.
MSAP requires grantees to apply special magnet themes and curricula, hire quality teachers, implement professional development, and encourage greater parental and community involvement. The goal of MSAP’s requirements is to provide students with challenging academic content that meets academic achievement requirements and improves students’ grasp of tangible and marketable vocational skills. Additionally, MSAP grantees must provide equitable processes for program placement and sustain the program after MSAP funding is no longer in place.