Charter School Start-Up Assistance Program
Grants to Massachusetts New Charter Schools
for Planning and Development Activities
for Planning and Development Activities
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Grants to Massachusetts charter schools to support a broad range of activities while in the planning or start-up phases. Applications will be accepted from schools within their first two years of operation, as well as schools that have not yet opened. The purpose of this federally-funded grant program is to provide new Commonwealth and Horace Mann charter schools with start-up funds for planning and implementing the charter schools' educational plan, academic goals and objectives, and for meeting start-up related costs.
Types of Grants:
1) Option A - Planning Period: These funds are available to charter schools that have been granted a charter but have not yet opened.
-Fiscal Policies and Procedures Development ($5,000): The development and documentation of sound business policies and procedures during the start-up period is a critical element of establishing a strong basis for charter school operation. This requirement of the grant is intended to help school leaders and Board members proactively set systems in place for prudent fiscal management. Describe how the school will use these funds to develop and document fiscal policies and procedures. Funds also must be set aside for a member of the business office to receive MCPPO training and certification.
-Curriculum and Assessment System Development ($10,000): Comprehensive development of the school’s proposed curriculum and its supporting assessment system prior to opening helps to ensure that students are well served and that the school has critical tools in place. Describe how the school will use these funds to develop curriculum and assessment systems during the planning year.
-Data Management Systems ($15,000): Investment in appropriate data management systems from the outset was highlighted by previous grant recipients as crucial in the early stages of running a school. Describe how the school will use these funds to purchase/develop a data management system.
-Student Recruitment of Targeted Population ($5,000): Development and execution of a plan to recruit the population set out in the mission of the school.
2) Option B - Implementation: These funds are available to charter schools that are in their first and second year of operation serving students.
-Governance Development ($5,000): This requirement of the grant is intended to help school leaders and Board members proactively meet their legal responsibilities for governing a public charter school. Activities might include funding the evaluation of current Board governance, policies, and practices. Other possible uses include holding a Board retreat, training for administrators and Board members, or funding the development of written management and governance policy manuals. A school may request to waive this spending requirement if it can demonstrate that it has secured and committed funds from other sources for this purpose.
-External Review of initial School Operations ($5,000): This requirement of the grant is intended to provide schools with a report on the implementation status of the goals outlined in the school’s charter, providing direction for further development and improvement. The school is free to select the vendor/consultant who will conduct the review and the results do not have to be submitted to the Charter School Office.
-Data Management Systems ($10,000): Investment in appropriate data management systems from the outset was highlighted by previous grant recipients as crucial in the early stages of running a school.
-Sheltered English Immersion Endorsement ($2,500): Scheduling the courses for administrators and teachers.
Suggested start-up activities that can be paid for out of grant funds include:
1) Development of the school’s Accountability Plan and support of an infrastructure to track progress toward the measurable school performance objectives.
2) Front-loading the development of systems and policies that normally would not be supportable by per-pupil tuition in the school’s early years (e.g., funding full-time business and special education staff to set up appropriate systems or consultants to closely monitor the initial implementation of various programs).
3) Teacher training programs (e.g., through stipends).
4) Informing the community about the school.
5) Acquiring necessary equipment and educational materials and supplies.
6) Acquiring or developing curriculum materials.
7) Creating and implementing office functions, such as accounting systems, attendance and registration systems, and human resources policies.
8) Costs associated with the installation of computers, data systems, networks, and telephones.
9) Personnel expenses incurred either before or after the school’s opening, provided that these expenses are associated with initial implementation activities (i.e., as opposed to ongoing operations), such as program and curriculum development and integration, and teacher and staff recruiting.
10) Rental or occupancy costs for the school facility for up to 6 months in preparation for the school’s opening.
In addition to baseline funding, charter schools are eligible for additional funding if they meet the priorities described below.
1) Access and Equity: ESE will provide $175,000 additional CSP grant funding to schools that either:
-Commit to backfilling all vacancies through grade 10 in alignment with current backfilling procedures, or
-Adopt an explicit mission and educational program designed to: Specifically serve English language learners, or; Specially serve students who are disconnected, over-age and under-credited, or off-track in their high school education;
2) Immediate High Impact: ESE will provide $125,000 in additional CSP grant funding to those charter schools that quickly provide new, high-quality educational seats to communities by opening with at least 250 seats in the first year of operation.
Each allocation is projected to be from $100,000 to $400,000 per year, depending on whether the Immediate High Impact and Access and Equity priorities are met.
Schools that meet the Access and Equity priority will receive an additional $175,000.
Schools that meet the Immediate High Impact priority will receive an additional $125,000.
The project duration is upon approval through August 31, 2017. Funding is allocated annually depending on charter award date.
Grants are made to new Commonwealth and Horace Mann charter schools.
Option A - Planning Period: These funds are available to charter schools that have been granted a charter but have not yet opened.
Option B - Implementation: These funds are available to charter schools that are in their first and second year of operation serving students.
More information on how the grant can be spent can be found in Part III - Required Program Information and in the CSP non-regulatory guidance: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/charter/nonregulatory-guidance.html
To apply, submit Part I and II of the signed scanned cover page with the signature of the charter school leader or Chair of the school's Board of Trustees electronically to Joanna Laghetto (see contact details below).
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
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