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U.S. Department of Education: Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program – Replication and Expansion

Deadline: February 27, 2017

The Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grants to Charter Management Organizations for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (CMO) purpose is to award grants to eligible applicants to enable them 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. In this grant competition, replicate means to open a new charter school, or a new campus of a high-quality charter school, based on the educational model of an existing high-quality charter school, under an existing charter or an additional charter, if permitted or required by State law. The term expand means to significantly increase enrollment or add one or more grades to the high-quality charter school.

The CSP CMO grants are used to support one or more of the following activities:

  1. Preparing teachers, school leaders, and specialized instructional support personnel, including through paying the costs associated with (A) providing professional development; and (B) hiring and compensating, during the eligible applicant’s planning period specified in the application for subgrant funds, one or more of the following: (i) Teachers; (ii) School leaders; (iii) Specialized instructional support personnel.
  2. Acquiring supplies, training, equipment (including technology), and educational materials (including developing and acquiring instructional materials).
  3. Carrying out necessary renovations to ensure that a new school building complies with applicable statutes and regulations, and minor facilities repairs (excluding construction).
  4. Providing one-time, startup costs associated with providing transportation to students to and from the charter school.
  5. Carrying out community engagement activities, which may include paying the cost of student and staff recruitment.
  6. Providing for other appropriate, non-sustained costs when such costs cannot be met from other sources.

There is one Absolute Priority under this competition, which must be met in order to apply. To meet this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that at least 60 percent of the students across all of the charter schools the applicant currently operates or manages are individuals from low-income families.

There are three competitive preference priorities:

  • Competitive Preference Priority 1 — Promoting Diversity gives priority to applicants that plan to use CSP funds to operate or manage charter schools intentionally designed to be racially and socioeconomically diverse. Up to 3 points.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 2 – School Improvement focuses on applicants that have shown past success in turning around academically poor-performing schools and plan to use CMO grant funds to turn around academically poor-performing schools during the grant project period. Up to 5 points.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 3 – Novice Applicants helps ensure that the CMO grant program is supporting a wide range of organizations. This priority provides additional points to applicants that have neither received a CSP Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools grant—either individually or as part of a group—at any point in the past nor received a discretionary grant from the Federal government in the previous five years. Up to 2 points.

This competition also includes an invitational priority that encourages applicants to conduct rigorous evaluations of practices within their charter schools that will, if well implemented, produce evidence that meets What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Evidence Standards.

Amount: Approximately $57,000,000 is available for grants ranging from $600,000-$3,500,000 per year. The maximum limit of grant funds that may be awarded per new school seat in a new charter school is $3,400, including a maximum limit per replicated charter school of $900,000. The maximum limit per new school seat in a charter school that is expanding its enrollment is $1,700, including a maximum limit per expanded school of $900,000.

Eligibility: Non-profit charter management organizations (CMOs) and other entities that are not for-profit. (A CMO is an organization that operates or manages multiple charter schools by centralizing or sharing certain functions and resources among schools.) Eligible applicants may apply as a group or consortium.

Link: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/charter-rehqcs/applicant.html

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