IDEA Public Schools wins coveted Broad Prize

IDEA Public Schools has been named the 2016 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools winner.

Based in the Valley, IDEA will received $250,000 to support college-readiness for their largely Hispanic student population.

“We are thrilled to be the recipient of the 2016 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools,” said Tom Torkelson, founder and CEO of IDEA Public Schools. “This recognition is validation that when the adults in the system get it right, kids can do remarkable things. For the last 16 years, IDEA has been working to prove this is possible. We are proud of this achievement.”

The district says nearly 90 percent of its students are low-income, and 95 percent are Hispanic.

“As a three-time finalist and this year’s winner, IDEA’s dedicated leaders, teachers and families have proved year after year that all students can excel and achieve at high levels,” said Gregory McGinity, executive director of The Broad Foundation. “We are proud to honor IDEA’s outstanding track record of preparing its students for college and beyond, and we hope that other public schools across the country can learn from their success.”

IDEA serves 24,000 students on campuses in San Benito, Brownsville, Alamo, Donna, Edinburg, McAllen, Mission, Pharr, San Juan and Weslaco. It also has schools in San Antonio and Austin.

The other finalist included Success Academy Charter Schools in New York and YES Prep in Houston.