Politico reports the latest federal handouts for charter schools and charter advocacy organizations, as well as to state agencies.

There is no sector of American education less in need of federal funding than charter schools. They have the support of the nation’s largest philanthropies—think Bill Gates, the Walton family, Eli Broad, Michael Bloomberg, Reed Hastings, etc.—as well as abundant gifts from the financial industry and individual billionaires.

Among the federal grants was $2.4 million to the California Charter Schools Association, the richest lobby in the state, which fights any legislative efforts to establish accountability and prohibit conflicts of interest and self-dealing.

Betsy DeVos has put the Trump administration strongly behind charter schools. The Trump administration puts no money into establishing ethical standards or financial oversight for charters. They pretend to want a “free market,” but free markets are not subsidized by the federal government. In a free market, businesses make it or fail on their own, without public subsidies.

When you see new charters opening, thank DeVos and Trump, as well as the billionaires who have created this new business opportunity.

Politico reports:

EDUCATION DOLES OUT CHARTER SCHOOL GRANTS: DeVos has awarded $399 million in federal grants to expand and support charter schools across the country.

— Eight states received $313.4 million over five years to “support approximately 300 new, replicating, and expanding public charter schools.” The grants were made to state education agencies in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Michigan, New York and North Carolina. Bluum, Inc., a nonprofit that provides financial advising to charter schools, received a grant on behalf of Idaho. Charter schools in those areas may apply for a piece of their state’s funding.

— The department also awarded $29.5 million to 32 charter school developers, none high-profile charter operators. Nine recipients plan to use the funding to launch new charter schools in Hawaii, Missouri, Alabama, North Carolina, Michigan and Maine. The rest of the grantees plan to expand existing charter schools.

— Four groups received grants totaling $39.9 million to help charter schools enhance their credit and tap into private-sector capital to pay for the cost of new school buildings or renovations. Charter schools often lack access to public funding for infrastructure projects, which the grant program was created to address. The grants were awarded to the Center for Community Self-Help, the Charter Schools Development Corporation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Nonprofit Finance Fund.

— The last bucket of funding, totaling $16.2 million, was directed to eight recipients tasked with supporting the charter school sector. The list includes some of the most prominent charter school advocacy groups, like the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. As we reported earlier this week, the alliance plans to use its funding to create a national center that will help charter schools acquire and renovate their facilities.

— The grants were made through the Charter Schools Program under the department’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. The program has seen a funding boost under the Trump administration, which has made school choice expansion a priority. The fiscal 2019 spending bill H.R. 6157 (115), included a $40 million boost for the program, bringing the overall level to $440 million. The Charter Schools Program has awarded roughly $4 billion since 1995.