In 1980, the first magnet schools were created as a tool to further racial desegregation in large urban school districts. The vision was that magnets would provide a voluntary means to create more racially and ethnically diverse schools by offering families a unique curriculum or distinctive educational experience. There is extensive research indicating that US schools are re-segregating at a steady rate. The need for magnet schools as a strategy to promote educational equity and integration is as pronounced today as it was in the years leading up to the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Federal Funding Investment in Educational Equity and Excellence
The national Magnet Schools Assistance Program was established in 1985, with grants available to school districts to support the development and implementation of magnet school programs. To date, the federal investment in magnet schools exceeds $1 billion. Today, there are more than 4,300 magnet schools that serve over 5 million students nationwide.
Leveraging Magnet Schools Funding to Promote School Integration
Since 1991, Metis has collaborated successfully with urban, suburban, and rural school districts in multiple regions of the country. For these communities, we secured more than $236 million in funding from the US Department of Education’s Magnet Schools Assistance Program for elementary, middle, and high school magnet programs. To win these highly competitive grant funds, Metis grant writing professionals collaborate with district and school staff to:
- Develop compelling curricular programs with themes such as STEAM, environmental science, engineering, performing arts, International Baccalaureate, etc.
- Facilitate partnerships with organizations to support magnet program implementation through activities such as professional development and student enrichment
- Craft outreach and recruitment strategies to attract new students and families to the magnet schools
- Design student assignment and lottery plans that meet the stringent criteria of the US Office for Civil Rights
- Design evaluation plans to assess the effectiveness of magnet programs, including rigorous studies of student outcomes
- Prepare grant applications and budgets
With our grant-writing services, Metis has helped districts create more than 125 magnet schools across the country, serving tens of thousands of students.