WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) praised the U.S. Department of Education’s award of $483,880, as a part of a larger amount over a five year period, to the University of West Alabama’s University Charter School (UCS) in Livingston. This grant is funded through the Fiscal Year 2018 Charter Schools Program (CSP), Expanding Opportunity Through Quality CSP – National Dissemination Grants Competition.
“This grant for West Alabama’s University Charter School will help give students the opportunity to excel academically while also building character and responsibility,” said Senator Shelby. “UCS will have a major impact on the development and progress of students in the Black Belt, preparing them for future professional success. It is my hope that the school can serve as a model for further expansion of rural charter schools. The funding will provide an environment that inspires students to learn and grow, and I look forward to working with the Department of Education to continue supporting our nation’s youth.”
“We are honored and grateful recipients of this USDOE grant award,” said Dr. J.J. Wedgeworth, Head of School at the University Charter School. “Excited is an understatement and we are looking forward to the limitless possibilities and opportunities that these funds will create for our students, our school and our community. UCS is very grateful for the foundation laid and groundwork completed by Dr. Ken Tucker and his team of University of West Alabama leaders and officials, Senator Shelby’s office and staff, and our local community who made this opportunity possible. These funds bring to fruition the transformational impact that this school will have on our community and shed light on the impact that innovative rural charter schools can have on other rural communities nationally. We are so very thankful for the vision and wisdom of those diligent leaders that have paved the way for success. University Charter School is grounded in a ‘sense of place’ and its students exude qualities of compassion, integrity, and perseverance. We are ecstatic to be ‘blazing the trail’ to the future of rural education!”
This grant will provide UCS funding to innovate and continue to implement their unique charter school model. The $483,880 in funding for the charter school covers the first budget period of the grant, which extends two years. The grant is expected to span over a total of five years, with additional funding anticipated after the initial budget period.
The National Dissemination Grant Competition provides funding on a competitive basis to support efforts by eligible entities to support the charter school sector and increase the number of high-quality charter schools available to our nation’s students by disseminating best practices regarding charter schools. The mission of the CSP is to expand opportunities for all students, particularly traditionally underserved students, to attend charter schools and meet challenging state academic standards; provide financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of public charter schools; increase the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the country; evaluate the impact of charter schools on student achievement, families, and communities; share best practices between charter schools and other public schools; encourage states to provide facilities support to charter schools; and support efforts to strengthen the charter school authorizing process.