The Great Schools for Connecticut Project, operated by the Connecticut Charter Schools Association (CTCSA), awarded a $1.3 million grant as part of the Charter School Program (CSP) to Edmonds Cofield Preparatory Academy for Young Men Inc. on Friday, March 8, 2024. The all-boys public charter school in New Haven plans to open its doors in Fall of 2024 and becomes the first Connecticut charter school to receive these funds.

The grant will supplement initial start-up costs for Edmonds Cofield, which earned approval from the State Board of Education and funding from the General Assembly in 2023. The school can utilize these funds toward staffing, supplies, equipment, rent, or school marketing as it prepares to begin admitting students. The entire portion (100%) of the $1.3 million CSP grant is funded by Federal CSP grant dollars.

“We are incredibly grateful for the CSP grant that has been approved to support the start-up of Edmonds Cofield Preparatory Academy for Young Men,” said Reverend Dr. Boise Kimber, who led the effort to open the school. “This generous funding will enable us to assess resources that we otherwise would not have been able to afford, and provide our scholars with access to a high-quality educational experience for the very beginning of their journey with us.”

Edmonds Cofield plans to serve 75 5th graders in its first year and add a new grade level each year to eventually serve 375 students in grades 5 through 8. The school aims to prepare students for college and career through a curriculum focused on entrepreneurial outlooks, making a positive impact on society, and ensuring a lifelong passion for learning.

The grant originates from the U.S. Department of Education, which in 2022 awarded a $24.5 million Charter Schools Program grant to the Northeast Charter Schools Network, the network organization supporting CTCSA. The Great Schools for Connecticut Project was competitively awarded the opportunity to provide federal funds to new and expanding public charter schools in Connecticut for the first time. The Charter Schools Program grant was created to distribute these funds via subgrants to applicants looking to open new public charter schools or expand or replicate existing high-quality charter schools. 

“I am so gratified to be able to ensure that Connecticut has access to these millions of dollars in federal funds to support the state’s public charter schools,” said Faiza Mawjee, CTCSA’s Senior Director of Federal Grants and the CSP Project Director. “For years, this funding has spurred growth in states across the country. We’re proud to work in collaboration with the State Department of Education to help Connecticut get its fair share.”

In the years ahead, the Great Schools for Connecticut Program will continue to offer competitive grant opportunities for those hoping to offer public charter school seats to the communities that need them most. The next grant cycle is expected to begin in late summer of 2024. For more information on the grant program, please visit https://csp.ctcharters.org/home.