Magnet Schools Assistance

To provide grants to eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) or consortia of LEAs for use in magnet schools that are part of approved desegregation plans and that are designed to bring together students from different social, economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

The following are examples of the types of projects that have been funded: (1) Implementation of science and math magnet projects; (2) projects to support performing arts magnet programs at the elementary and secondary level; and (3) projects to support Montessori programs.

Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.

Program Accomplishments

Forty-one new awards were made in FY 2007. The next grant competition will be held in FY 2010, subject to the availability of funds.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds may be used for planning and promotional activities directly related to the development, expansion, continuation, or enhancement of academic programs offered at magnet schools; for purchasing books, materials, equipment; and for paying or subsidizing the salaries of teachers and instructional staff in magnet schools.

Funds may not be used for transportation or activities that do not augment academic improvement.

No more than 50 percent of the funds an applicant receives in the first year of a grant may be used for planning.

No more than 15 percent of the funds received for the second year may be used for planning, and no more than 10 percent in the third year.

This program is subject to non-supplanting requirements and must use a restricted indirect cost rate which is referenced under 34 CFR 75.563.

For assistance call the Office of Chief Financial Officer/Indirect Cost Group on (202) 708-7770.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Local educational agencies (LEA) or consortia of LEAs that are implementing court-ordered or federally approved voluntary desegragation plans that include magnet schools are eligible to apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Local educational agencies and participating students will benefit.


Applicants must submit a copy of the desegregation plan they are implementing, or will implement, if assistance is made available. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency and required by OMB Circular No.

A-102 must be used for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

Application notices are published in the Federal Register and applications must be sent to the Education Department on or before the closing date. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Recommendations for the approval of applications are made by the program staff on the basis of published criteria, statutory priorities, State comments received under the E.O. 12372 process, and with the advice and assistance of a panel of reviewers. In addition, no application may be approved unless the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights determines that all required assurance will be met.


The closing date for the Magnet Schools Assistance Program is published in the Federal Register.


Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Title V, Part C, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 7231-7231j.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

The range is anticipated to be 90 to 120 days from the closing date.




The project period for a Magnet School award may not exceed 36 months. To receive continuation funding, grantees must demonstrate substantial progress toward meeting their goals and objectives. Renewals are subject to the availability of appropriations.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The length of grants will be up to 36 months, subject to the availability of funds.

Post Assistance Requirements


As part of the continuation funding process, grantees must submit performance reports annually.

The program office will establish a due date.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofits Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Section 443 of the General Education Provisions Act, as amended by the Improving America's Schools Act, grantees must maintain records for 3 years.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $106,693,000; FY 08 est $104,829,000; and FY 09 est $104,829,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The range of awards is approximately $350,000 - $4,000,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Contact the Program Office for information on regulations (34 CFR 280).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Magnet Schools Assistance Program, School Improvement Programs, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20202-6140. Contact: Steve Brockhouse. Telephone: (202) 260-2476. Internet:

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Quality criteria are used to evaluate the applicant's plan of operation; personnel; project design; budget and resources; evaluation plan; and commitment and capacity. Competitive priority is given to applicants that demonstrate the greatest need for assistance; that carry out new or significantly revised magnet schools; that select students to attend magnet schools through methods such as lottery, rather than academic examination; that implement innovative educational approaches consistent with approved State and local system reform plans; and that draw on comprehensive community involvement plans. For funds appropriated for the program in excess of $75 million, competitive priority is given to those applicants that did not receive funds under the program in the last fiscal year of the previous funding cycle.

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