CSP FAQ

What is a CSP grant?

A Charter School Program (CSP) grant is a U.S. Department of Education federal grant awarded to state and non-governmental entities to support high-quality public charter school programs. This year, Oklahoma was one of nine states selected and was awarded $16.5 million to expand up to 25 high-quality charter schools throughout the state.

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What is the purpose of Oklahoma’s CSP grant?

Oklahoma’s CSP grant objectives are as follows:

  1. Increase the number of high-quality charter schools in Oklahoma with an emphasis on those serving educationally disadvantaged students (students placed at special risk by their socioeconomic and educational background).
  2. Improve student outcomes in Oklahoma charter schools, especially for educationally disadvantaged students.
  3. Disseminate high-performing charter schools’ best practices to help eliminate the achievement gap between educationally disadvantaged students and their peers.
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Who is eligible?

OPSRC will award subgrants for brick-and-mortar public charter schools in two categories: 1) those seeking to replicate/expand existing high-quality charter schools and 2) those seeking to create new charter schools based on successful models that have increased student achievement.

Applicants who have already had their proposed brick-and-mortar charter school approved by a charter school sponsor (authorizer) are eligible to apply. Competitive priority preference will be given to schools serving the following groups:

  1. Students living in poverty (as identified by the federal Free and Reduced Lunch program guidelines)
  2. Minority students who are often underserved in quality schools: African American, Hispanic and Native American students.
  3. Students with disabilities and English language learners.
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Who is not eligible?

Grant applicants must conform to the federal definition of a public charter school in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act [P.L. 114-95, section 4310(2)] to be eligible for grant funds under the CSP.  

To be eligible to apply, a public charter school must be governed by a non-profit board that is separate from the sponsoring board and may not be composed of voting members from the authorizing board of directors.

Virtual charter schools are not eligible to apply.

All applicants for the Charter School Program Grant must have an executed charter with a sponsor, must be no more than 16 months from opening as of the due date of the Subgrant. Charter schools in operation, approved charter schools that are more than 16 months from opening, and developers that have not yet been approved by a sponsor are not eligible to apply. Grant activities may not extend beyond the first year of operation.

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What does this grant cover?

Up to 5 subgrants of $600,000 will be awarded each year for a period of five years. An applicant receiving a subgrant under this program may use the subgrant funds only for uses as defined in the ESSA Section 4303(h):

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

It is expressly prohibited to use CSP grant funds for the purchase or leasing of a facility.  Grant funds may not be used to offset or cover costs of preparing and applying for CSP grant funds.

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How long is the grant funding for?

Funding will be for a five-year granting period. However, each subgrant is for a two-year period: a planning year ($150,000 prior to the school opening) and implementation year (up to $450,000 for first year of operation)

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What is the grant application and review timeline?

Timeframe

Action

December

CSP subgrant competition announced/advertised.

January

Technical assistance webinars & localized informational meetings held

March 31

Application period closed and review process begins

April 30

Announce award grantees

Planning Year: May 1-June 30
Implementation Year: July 1 (of following year)

Disburse funds

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What is the application process?

The application process is detailed in the application document.

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Who will review applications?

The OPSRC technical assistance team, created to oversee the OK grant, will use 3-member peer review teams to study, review, analyze and grade all subgrant applications. The peer review teams will consist of qualified experts from various Oklahoma communities with diverse gender, racial and ethnic representations.

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Will the application review be based on a rubric?

Yes. The rubric is included in the application document.

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How can we get more information about the process?

We have scheduled one informational webinar and two regional meetings,

January 25th, 9 am -noon OPSRC Oklahoma City Offices

January 30th, 9 am-noon, OPPSRC Tulsa Office 907 S Detroit Suite 630

February 1, 9am-noon, virtual session throught Google Hangout

Additional virtual meeting will be scheduled for questions in February and March.

Click here if you wish to sign up for email updates.

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