Magnet Schools

Magnet schools and magnet programs offer a specialized curriculum to students outside the school’s normal attendance boundaries. These programs may include a particular theme or focus such as mathematics, science, technology, communications, international affairs, business or performing arts. A magnet school is defined as an elementary, middle, or high school that offers, to all students enrolled in that particular school, a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Magnet programs differ slightly from a magnet school as the special curriculum is offered to a cohort of students as opposed to the entire school. In Florida, 642,298 students participated in 581 magnet schools or magnet programs in 28 Florida school districts during the 2017-2018 school year.


  • Magnet Schools of America Magnet Schools of America provides leadership for innovative instructional programs that promote equity, diversity, and academic excellence for all students in public school choice programs. Information about membership, resources, and magnet schools conferences are available from this page.
  • Magnet Schools Assistance Grant Program (US Department of Education) The Magnet Schools Assistance program provides grants to eligible local educational agencies to establish and operate magnet schools that are operated under a court-ordered or federally approved voluntary desegregation plan.
  • Innovations in Education: Creating Successful Magnet School Programs
    This book by USDOE is part of the Innovations in Education series. This book identifies six school districts whose successful magnet programs offer a range of contexts, experiences, and perspectives.
  • Military Enrollment Preference in Magnet Schools (PDF)
    The Department of Education has issued a memorandum regarding the military enrollment preference in special academic programs.
  • Creating and Sustaining Successful K-8 Magnet Schools
    This publication from USDOE provides "lessons learned" for district and school decision-makers of how specialized programs can spark enthusiasm for learning and catalyze academic growth in students whose interest and aptitudes may not be fulfilled by their neighborhood schools.
  • Successful Magnet High Schools
    This publication from USDOE examines eight magnet high schools, analyzing their common characteristics and profiles them as models of success.
  • Directory of Magnet Schools