Still far from covering its $24.7 million in startup costs, the Education Achievement Authority is seeking federal money given to low-performing schools in Michigan to jumpstart turnaround efforts.
Authority Chancellor John Covington said he has made a request to the state Department of Education to obtain School Improvement Grants, but his staff has yet to fill out an application.
The authority, a statewide system of schools created by Gov. Rick Snyder, is relying entirely on philanthropic donations to cover the $24.7 million in startup costs for the system, which will launch this fall with 15 low-performing Detroit Public Schools.
The new system so far has raised a fraction of that amount from private donors. It had raised $1.38 million in revenue and had $911,846 in expenses, leaving $473,694 as of Feb. 29, the date the most recent data was available.
The federal government awarded Michigan $82.7 million in school improvement grant money for 28 schools in 18 districts, part of $3.5 billion in federal stimulus aid given to public schools nationwide in 2009.
Michigan is to get nearly $20 million in extra money this year to continue work toward turning around its persistently lowest-achieving schools.