From the Chicago Tribune by Noreen Ahmed-Ullah:
The Renaissance Schools Fund, which for the last six years has poured enough startup money into new charter schools to triple their number in the Chicago Public Schools system, has announced a new $60 million venture fund to add 50 more charter schools.

Unlike the previous initiative launched in 2004 to raise funds aimed at closing failing schools and opening new ones, this time the fund will focus on replicating successful charters in Chicago and bringing in high-performing charter schools from out of state.

The group also plans to drop Mayor Richard Daley's "Renaissance" moniker and take on a new name: New Schools for Chicago. The executives estimate the charters promoted through both funds will serve about 20 percent of the district in the next five years, an effort that they said has been met with enthusiasm by Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel.

Under the initial $50 million fund, Renaissance gave up to $750,000 each to 70 schools. They include 58 charters, six magnet schools and six contract schools, which have CPS oversight. The fund helped start 13 charter networks, including funding eight campuses for Chicago International Charter Schools, seven United Neighborhood Organization schools and nine Noble Street charter high schools. With the new fund, charters will get $1 million to $5 million apiece over two to five years. This time, though, the money will be doled out as charters reach specific academic, financial and growth milestones.

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