ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education awarded New Mexico a $22-million grant to expand charter schools in the state. The Albuquerque Journal reported on Thursday that the funding awarded to the state Public Education Department will be distributed over five years to launch 22 new charter schools and expand eight existing charter schools. The grant was part of $253 million the federal government awarded to states and other entities to increase the role of charter schools. State education officials say the funding will help it improve charter authorizing practices and the fiscal and organizational performance of the schools. About 7 percent of all New Mexico students are enrolled in the roughly 100 charter schools authorized by the state and local districts.