The proposed Menlo Mandarin Immersion Charter School has been awarded a $375,000 federal grant for startup costs.

But for the money to be delivered, a petition to establish the charter must be approved. The charter’s founders are hoping to open two kindergarten and two first grade classes in the Menlo Park City School District by next fall.

In April, the district turned down their request to launch a Mandarin immersion program at one or more of the existing schools.

Carol Cunningham, one of the leaders of the charter school effort, said the grant would be spent on one-time startup costs including furniture, curriculum and technological equipment. It cannot go toward operational expenses such as teachers’ salaries or lease payments, she noted.

The district’s board is scheduled to consider approving or denying the charter petition at its meeting Wednesday.

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