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Charter Schools: Increasing quantity and quality in states

• Sam Duell

student at desk


This is the final post in a three-part series for National Charter Schools Week.

View the first post, Charter Schools: Good News for Studentsand the second post, Charter Schools: Still Growing!

The US Department of Education (USED) is currently accepting grant applications from states to increase the number and quality of charter schools across the country. Here is some information about the USED Charter School Program (CSP) Grant Competitions.

What is the CSP grant? This competitive grant program enables states to award sub-grants to eligible applicants in their state to open new charter schools and to replicate and expand high-quality charter schools.

The CSP grant is intended to: expand opportunities for all children to attend charter schools, particularly underserved students; increase the number of high-quality charter schools nationally; encourage states to provide facilities support to charter schools; and support efforts to strengthen the charter school authorizing process.

According to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states receiving a grant under this program shall:

  • Use not less than 90 percent of the grant funds to award sub-grants;
  • Reserve not less than 7 percent of funds to provide technical assistance to eligible applicants and authorized public chartering agencies; and
  • Reserve not more than 3 percent of funds for administrative costs.

How much money will be awarded in FY17?

  • Estimated Available Funds: $157,000,000
  • Estimated Range of Awards: $2 million to $23 million/year
  • Estimated Average Size of Awards: $10 million/year
  • Estimated Number of Awards: 3 to 8
  • Project Period: Up to five years

Who is eligible to apply? State entities within states with charter school laws are eligible to apply. Today, 44 states and the District of Columbia have statutes that allow for the establishment of charter schools.

State entities could include a state educational agency (SEA), a state charter school board, a governor or a charter school support organization.

Where can I find more information about the grant opportunity?

When are applications due?

  • May 18, 2017

About the author

Sam Duell

Sam Duell is an Associate Policy Director for Charter School Policy at the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Previously, Sam was a Managing Director at the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center where, among other education infrastructure projects, he focused on building the capacity of charter school authorizers. Before joining the Resource Center, Sam was a special education teacher, a school administrator, a central office administrator and the Executive Director of School Choice at the Oklahoma State Department of Education where he oversaw charter schools.

A native of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Sam earned a bachelor’s from the University of Colorado Boulder and a master’s from UC Berkeley.