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U.S. Department of Education: Charter Schools Program – Grants for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools

Deadline: July 15, 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 CSP Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools competition enables grantees to replicate or expand high-quality charter schools with demonstrated records of success, including success in increasing student academic achievement. Eligible applicants may use their grant funds to expand the enrollment of one or more existing charter schools by substantially increasing the number of available seats per school or to open one or more new charter schools that are based on the charter school model for which the eligible applicant has presented evidence of success.

The notice includes two absolute priorities (which must be met in order to apply), three competitive preference priorities, and one invitational priority, as detailed below:

Absolute priorities are:

  • Absolute Priority 1—Experience Operating or Managing High-Quality Charter Schools: This priority is for projects that will provide for the replication or expansion of high-quality charter schools by applicants that currently operate or manage more than one high-quality charter school.
  • Absolute Priority 2—Low-Income Demographic: To meet this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that at least 60 percent of all students in the charter schools it currently operates or manages are individuals from low-income families.

Competitive preference priorities are:

  • Competitive Preference Priority 1–Serving High-Need Students: Applicants addressing this priority may select and address only one of the following elements: Element (a) is for projects designed to support students who are members of federally recognized Indian tribes; Element (b) is for projects designed to replicate and expand high-quality charter schools in order to support school improvement efforts by local educational agencies (LEAs); and Element (c) is for projects designed to replicate and expand high-quality charter schools in federally designated Promise Zones.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 2—Promoting Diversity: This priority is for applicants that demonstrate a record of, as well as an intent to continue, taking active measures to: (a) Promote student diversity, including racial and ethnic diversity, or avoid racial isolation; (b) Serve students with disabilities at a rate that is at least comparable to the rate at which these students are served in public schools in the surrounding area; and (c) Serve English learners at a rate that is at least comparable to the rate at which these students are served in public schools in the surrounding area.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 3—Novice Applicant: This priority is for applicants that qualify as novice applicants, which means an applicant for a grant from the Department that: (i) has never received a Replication and Expansion grant; (ii) has never been a member of a group application that received a Replication and Expansion grant; and (iii) has not had an active discretionary grant from the Federal government in the five years before the deadline date for applications for new awards under this Replication and Expansion grant competition.

The Invitational Priority is:

  • Invitational Priority—Rigorous Evaluation: The Secretary is particularly interested in funding applications that demonstrate that the applicant is currently conducting, or will conduct, a rigorous independent evaluation of the applicant’s charter schools, or specific practices within those charter schools, such as professional development practices (e.g., teacher coaching or leadership training) through a quasi- experimental design study or randomized controlled trial that will, if well implemented, meet What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards.

Amount: Approximately $40,000,000 is available to fund an estimated 19 to 25 applicants. Awards are estimated to range from $500,000 to $3,000,000 per year and average around $1,600,000 per year.

Eligibility: Nonprofit charter management organizations and other entities that are not for-profit entities. Eligible applicants may also apply as a group or consortium.

Link: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=277216

Note: A pre-application webinar will be held for prospective applicants on June 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm MST (2:00 pm EST). To pre-register, email your contact information to CharterSchools@ed.gov.

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