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Magnolia Public School was one of only three awardees in California and 17 across the country.

Los Angeles, CA – Magnolia Public Schools (MPS), a network of 10 tuition-free college preparatory charter public schools in Southern California focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM), received a U.S. Department of Education’s highly-coveted and competitive multimillion-dollar grant to replicate and expand its high-quality education model. MPS is one of just three awardees in California and 17 across the country awarded funding totaling $140 million. It received the highest score of any applicant at 115.33 out of a possible 121 points. 

            “We are honored and beyond excited to receive this award from the U.S. Department of Education,” said Alfredo Rubalcava, Magnolia Public Schools CEO, and Superintendent. “This recognition is a testament to the hard work and countless hours our educators, school leaders, and staff dedicate to Magnolia’s education model so that families are supported and children can thrive in school and beyond,” said Rubalcava.

            To compete, applicants must replicate and expand high-quality charters serving racially and socioeconomically diverse high school student populations, prepare students for enrollment in colleges and universities, assist them as they transition beyond high school, and provide community-centered schools that support underserved students. All MPS network schools are located in high-need areas stretching from the West and Northeast San Fernando Valley to South Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. Nearly 78% of students are on Free and Reduced Meal programs, 78% are Latino, 15% are students with disabilities, and 20% are English Learners. 

The MPS instruction model is designed to ensure all students, especially underserved and socioeconomically disadvantaged student populations, English Learners, and students with disabilities, meet rigorous State academic standards. Statewide assessments show gains exceeding those of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Santa Ana Unified (9 out of 10 network schools are located within these districts), and San Diego Unified.

According to California Department of Education California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) 2022-23 student data, overall MPS schools improved by 0.63% in English Language Arts (ELA), bringing them closer to pre-pandemic growth levels. Almost all L.A.-area schools outperformed LAUSD (-0.53%), and the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) (-0.02%). Magnolia Science Academy-Santa Ana showed a 7.02% increase in ELA compared to Santa Ana Unified’s 0.22%, and jumped 6.10% in math. MSA-San Diego exceeded ELA achievement at 63.01%compared to San Diego Unified’s 53.76%, and 54.66% in math compared to San Diego Unified’s 43.15%.

Overall, MPS shows higher college-ready graduation rates (91.7%) compared to LAUSD (52%), Santa Ana Unified (40%) and the state (45%). In addition to a rigorous, inclusive, and equitable access curriculum, MPS schools administer bi-annual socio-emotional learning assessments to identify student need and provide support, offer accommodations for students with disabilities, and through a community school model, ensure families have access to needed resources.

The new funding will help MPS expand five of its current schools and replicate its successful TK-12 model in Santa Ana throughout Orange County, bumping its enrollment by nearly three thousand new students.

Earlier this year, MPS received the California Charter School Association Heart, Vision, Equity, and Innovation School Award

For information about the program and interviews, contact Evelyn G. Alemán at (818) 943-2481 or


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