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U.S. Department of Education: Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grants to Non-State Educational Agency (Non-SEA) Eligible Applicants for Planning, Program Design, and Initial Implementation and for Dissemination

Deadline: October 6, 2015

The purpose of the Charter Schools Program (CSP) is to increase national understanding of the charter school model by expanding the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the nation; providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools; and evaluating the effects of charter schools, including their effects on students, student academic achievement, staff, and parents.

The Department of Education invites applications from non-State Educational Agency (SEA) eligible applicants for two types of grants: (1) Planning, Program Design, and Initial Implementation; and (2) Dissemination. The Department has issued one absolute priority (which must be met to apply), three competitive preference priorities, and one invitational priority under the current request for proposals. The absolute and competitive preference priorities focus this competition on assisting educationally disadvantaged students and other students — specifically students who are living in poverty, students with disabilities, English learners, students who are members of federally recognized Indian tribes, and students in rural areas — in meeting State academic content standards and State student academic achievement standards.

The absolute priority is:

  • Supporting High-Need Students [Students Living in Poverty]: Projects that are designed to improve academic outcomes and learning environments for students who are living in poverty and are served by schools with high concentrations of students living in poverty.

Applicants may receive additional points for meeting one or more of the following competitive preference priorities:

  • Competitive Preference Priority 1 — Supporting High-Need Students [Rural Students, Students with Disabilities, English Learners] (up to 3 points): Projects that are designed to improve academic outcomes and learning environments for one or more of the following groups of students: (a) Students served by Rural Local Educational Agencies; (b) Students with disabilities; (c) English learners.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 2 — Supporting High-Need Students [Federally Recognized Indian Tribes] (up to 3 points): Projects that are designed to improve academic outcomes and learning environments for students who are members of federally recognized Indian tribes.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 3 — Improving Early Learning and Development Outcomes (up to 2 points): Projects that are designed to improve early learning and development outcomes across one or more of the essential domains of school readiness for children from birth through third grade (or for any age group within this range) through a focus on including preschool, whether offered in school or community-based settings, as part of elementary education programs and systems in order to expand opportunities for preschool students and teachers.

The invitational priority is: Promoting Diversity. The Secretary is particularly interested in applications from charter school developers planning schools, or from charter schools, that are designed to attract and serve students from diverse backgrounds, including students from different racial and ethnic groups and educationally disadvantaged students (e.g., economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, migrant students, English learners, neglected or delinquent students, and homeless students), as reflected in the (a) charter school’s mission statement, (b) vision of the charter school, or (c) charter or performance agreement between the charter school and its authorizer.

Amount: There is approximately $4,000,000 available under this competition for awards as follows:

  • Planning, Program Design, and Initial Implementation: Estimated range of awards: $150,000 to $250,000 per year; estimated average size of awards: $200,000 per year; estimated number of awards: 17-20.
  • Dissemination: Estimated range of awards: $100,000 to $300,000 per year; estimated average size of awards: $200,000 per year; estimated number of awards: 1-3.

Eligibility: This competition is limited to eligible applicants in States in which the SEA does not have an approved application under the CSP (or will not have an approved application as of October 1, 2015). States in which the SEA currently has an approved CSP application are California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. The Department of Education will not consider applications of non-SEA eligible applicants from these States.

  • Planning, Program Design, and Initial Implementation grants: A developer that has (1) applied to an authorized public chartering authority to operate a charter school, as defined in section 5210(1) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7221i(1)); and (2) provided adequate and timely notice to that authority under section 5203(d)(3) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7221b(d)(3)).
  • Dissemination grants: A charter school, as defined in section 5210(1) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7221i(1)), that has been in operation for at least three consecutive years and has demonstrated overall success, including: (1) Substantial progress in improving student academic achievement; (2) High levels of parent satisfaction; and (3) The management and leadership necessary to overcome initial start-up problems and establish a thriving, financially viable charter school.

Link: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/08/21/2015-20723/applications-for-new-awards-charter-schools-program-csp-grants-to-non-state-educational-agency#h-20

Note: There will be two pre-application webinars to provide more information to applicants: August 26, 2015, 1:30 p.m. MST and September 9, 2015, 1:30 p.m. MST.

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