Pennsylvania Charter Schools Grant

New Resource Available!

In July 2020, The National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) published the Policy Framework for High-Quality Charter Authorizing Practices (Framework), which was described as a tool for assessing a State policy environment’s support for high-quality authorizing practices.  The Framework is based on a review of high-quality authorizing practices referenced in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and literature by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) and the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools (Alliance). NCSRC staff used this review to identify common themes or categories of policies that are essential to State support for high quality authorizing and incorporated them into the Framework.

Guided by the Framework, the NCSRC has since published High-Quality Charter Authorizing Policy Profiles (State Profiles) for 27 recent State Entity grantees. We are happy to share that as an awardee of a CSP State Entities grants in FY 2020, Pennsylvania, was selected for a profile this year. Like previous State Profiles, these newly published resources describe the key elements of the State’s policy context for supporting high-quality authorizing practices.

The PACSP team was excited to assist the NCSRC by providing information as well as reviews and feedback on the Pennsylvania profile.

 

 

About the Charter Schools Program

On September 30, 2020, the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) was awarded an Expanding Opportunities Through Quality Charter School Programs Grant (commonly referred to as a CSP Grant) from the US Department of Education. This grant award will total $30 million over a grant period of five years (2021-25) and will support the development, expansion and replication of 18 high-quality public schools in Pennsylvania. Each school will be a nonprofit, brick-and-mortar charter school whose model and/or track record demonstrate a strong likelihood that they will produce meaningful and sustainable student learning gains. Over the course of the grant, 90% of estimated grant funds goes directly to the subgrantees with 10% reserved for the administrative and technical assistance duties to run the grant program.

You can find all of our upcoming trainings under the Technical Assistance tab below.

Want to get updates about the PACSP grant? Sign up!

    The Pennsylvania Charter Schools Program (PACSP) represents $30 million in funds available to help Pennsylvania expand opportunities for students to attend excellent public charter schools that meet and exceed state academic standards.

    PACSP will promote two overriding outcomes:

    • increasing the number of high-quality charter schools that educate substantial at-risk student populations, and
    • improving student outcomes in PA charter schools, particularly for at-risk students. Both interim and summative performance measures have been set to achieve this long-term impact.

    Eligible applicants must have an approved charter school petition from a Pennsylvania authorizer in order to apply for Federal CSP dollars under this program. PACSP cannot fund applicants through the charter application process. 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.

    PACSP will follow the federal definition of high-quality charter schools:

    • shows evidence of strong academic results which may include strong student academic growth as determined by the state;
      has no significant issues in the area of student safety, financial and operational management, or statutory or regulatory compliance;
      has demonstrated success in significantly increasing student academic achievement, including graduation rates where applicable, for all students served by the charter school; and
    • has demonstrated success in increasing student academic achievement, including graduation rates where applicable, for each of the subgroups of students, as defined in section 1111(c)(2) of the ESSA, except that such demonstration is not required in a case in which the number of students in a group is insufficient to yield statistically reliable information or the results would reveal personally identifiable information about an individual student.
      Expanding or Replicating Schools

    Those who wish to expand or replicate existing charter schools must meet the ESSA SEC. 4310 (7-9) definitions of expanding, replicating and high quality. Schools that do not meet this definition are not eligible for subgrant funding.

    To ensure sub grants are awarded to the most capable applicants, each proposal for a CSP sub grant will be reviewed by an external Peer Review panel.  These reviewers will receive training on the effective use of a Peer Review Rubric to rate potential sub grant proposals. Individuals selected as peer reviewers must be well informed regarding education, education policy, evaluation, and operations of public charter schools.

    Peer Reviewers will independently read, score, and provide timely, written comments supported by the application scoring rubric and relevant laws and regulations to provide award recommendations to the CSP Co-Directors. To ensure a diverse collection of impartial reviewers who are intimately familiar with the Commonwealth’s educational and political landscape and who are well-positioned to assess whether a school will contribute to the advancement of the CSP project’s objectives, the PRT will consist of five primary members and two alternate members from the following categories:

    • a disinterested member of the PCPCS board
    • a successful charter school founder;
    • an expert in charter school business management and finance;
    • a representative from a Pennsylvania institution of higher education; and
    • a member of the PCPCS Legal Advisory Council.

    Peer reviewers will be required to self-report any conflicts of interest. Peer reviewers shall not participate in any way in actions or decisions that directly or indirectly involve their own financial interests or those of their families or business associates. If potential reviewers are directly or indirectly affiliated with a grant applicant through themselves, a family member or business interest, the individual will not be allowed to score applications where the conflict of interest exists and the application will be assigned for review by an alternate member of the PRT team.

    Some examples of allowable subgrantee expenses include:

    • Planning and program design that does not exceed 18 months
    • One-time costs for the purpose of opening, replicating, or expanding
    • Costs with preparing teachers, school leaders, and specialized instructional support personnel
    • Supplies, training, equipment, and educational materials
    • Renovations for a new school building to comply with applicable statues and regulations (construction is excluded)
    • Community engagement activities

    It is expressly prohibited to use CSP grant funds for the purchase or leasing of a facility.

    The following items CANNOT be funded under this grant. Any proposed expenditures including the following items will not be funded:

    •  Grant funds may not be used to offset or cover costs of preparing and applying for CSP grant funds
    • Capital expenses, such as remodeling, technology leases, elevators, water main valves, vans, tractors, bobcats, or permanent fixture of equipment/furniture
    •  Professional dues or memberships
    • Employee hiring/recruitment expenses such as a placement firm or travel for prospective employees
    • Non-educational/non-informative promotional/novelty items for advertising, events, or recruiting
    • Grant oversight expenses
    • Costs of continuing education credits for professional development coursework
    • Gift certificates, alcoholic beverages, school apparel for staff or students, fines and penalties, lobbying
    • Food for meetings or any other purposes

    The first competition for funding will launch February 15, 2021 and close March 18, 2021 at 5:00 PM.

    February 16, 2021: PACSP Information Webinar – How to Apply for the First Round of PACSP Funds.
    Come join the PACSP Co-Directors for an informational session on how to apply for the first year of PACSP funding. The Co-Directors will review eligibility and application components. Information will be provided on how to utilize the FedReporting.com web portal for application submission. Time will be allotted for questions! Click here to view the slides from the presentation and click here to see a recording.

    February 23, 2021: New Charter School Roundtable.
    PACSP is hosting a New Charter School Roundtable featuring the founders of Pennsylvania’s most recently approved charter schools. This session is intended for anyone considering starting a charter school. Our panelists will share their best practices that helped them get their application approved. Click here to view a recording of the session.

    APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED VIA FEDREPORTING.COM!

    To create a fedreporting.com account, download the instructions here. You must complete all fields on the “New User” form. Please email the completed form to admin@fedreporting.com and you will receive access instructions within 24 hours of submission of a completed form.

    Question on creating an account, technical system questions, and any other inquiries, please contact admin@fedreporting.com.

    To ensure sub grants are awarded to the most capable applicants, each proposal for a CSP sub grant will be reviewed by an external Peer Review panel. Peer Reviewers will independently read, score, and provide timely, written comments supported by the application scoring rubric and relevant laws and regulations to provide award recommendations to the CSP Co-Directors. These reviewers will receive training on the effective use of the Peer Review Rubric to rate potential sub grant proposals. For more information on the Peer Review Panel, please visit the Peer Review Panel tab on this page.

    The Peer Review Rubric consists of:

    Application Narrative Rubric

    Project Specific Narrative Rubric

    Competitive Preference Priority Plan Rubric

    Track Record Rubric

    Click here for suggested evidence documentation for the track record rubric

    Expand for Upcoming Events

    Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 9:00AM-2:00PM: Act 55  Board Training

    Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, school board directors and charter school trustees are required to complete training programs pursuant to Act 55 of 2017. School board directors or charter school trustees appointed as of July 1, 2018 will be required to complete the initial four-hour training program required under Act 55 during their first year in office. The training programs are intended to enhance the skills and knowledge necessary for individuals to serve successfully on the governing bodies of public schools across the Commonwealth.

    In partnership with Charter Choices and the attorneys that are members of our Legal Advisory Council, the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) is hosting this training in various locations throughout the state so that we may be directly involved in the accountability and success of all Pennsylvania charter schools.

    Click here to register for ACT 55 Board Training.

    Compliance Intro – Abby (PM)
    Cohort-Building – Jesse (PM)
    Welcome Reception for Subgrantees (Early Evening)

    Thursday, October 22, 2021

    8:50AM-10:50AM Workshop #1  – Improving Instruction via Curricular Design (QS #1)
    Allie Rodman, The Learning Loop
    1:15PM-3:15PM Workshop #2 – Using Data for Continuous Improvement (QS#1)
    Alex Schuh, School Frontiers

    Friday, October 22, 2021

    9:45AM-11:40AM Workshop #3 – Effective & Ethical Leadership
    Tom Miller, Leaders Building Leaders
    12:00PM-2:00PM Workshop #4 – Advocacy/Community Engagement
    Bravo Group

    Past Events:

    PACSP Information Webinar – How to Apply for the First Round of PACSP Funds.
    Come join the PACSP Co-Directors for an informational session on how to apply for the first year of PACSP funding. The Co-Directors will review eligibility and application components. Information will be provided on how to utilize the FedReporting.com web portal for application submission. Time will be allotted for questions! Click here to view the slides from the presentation and click here to see a recording.

    February 23, 2021: New Charter School Roundtable.
    PACSP is hosting a New Charter School Roundtable featuring the founders of Pennsylvania’s most recently approved charter schools. This session is intended for anyone considering starting a charter school. Our panelists will share their best practices that helped them get their application approved. Click here to view a recording of the session.

    Expand for Technical Assistance for Schools

    The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools works with companies, individuals, and organizations throughout the Keystone State to provide services and information to charter schools. Click here to see a view the 2020-21 PCPCS Resource Guide and Directory where you can find information about these businesses.

    Expand Technical Assistance for Authorizers

    More Information Coming Soon!

    Expand for Resources for Everyone

    *The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) formed 143K Rising as a way for lawmakers in Harrisburg to hear directly from charter school families. We are guided and supported by a diverse group of educational organizations, business groups and public policy agencies that understand charter schools are the best option for many children to receive a public education that meets their needs.

    The goal is to give charter school families a voice in policy decisions that otherwise could have disastrous consequences for the education and future of their children. Click here to learn more about how to join the movement.

    *Pennsylvania has one of the most vibrant and active Charter School environments in the country. Whether you’re looking for a local option with a unique mission or a cutting edge cyber school that a student can attend from anywhere in the state, PA has the right Charter School for you and your family. Please use the PA Charter School Locator below to find the one right for you.

    Click here to download a flyer about the PACSP Grant Program.

    *The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) formed 143K Rising as a way for lawmakers in Harrisburg to hear directly from charter school families. We are guided and supported by a diverse group of educational organizations, business groups and public policy agencies that understand charter schools are the best option for many children to receive a public education that meets their needs.

    The goal is to give charter school families a voice in policy decisions that otherwise could have disastrous consequences for the education and future of their children. Click here to learn more about how to join the movement.

    *Pennsylvania has one of the most vibrant and active Charter School environments in the country. Whether you’re looking for a local option with a unique mission or a cutting edge cyber school that a student can attend from anywhere in the state, PA has the right Charter School for you and your family. Please use the PA Charter School Locator below to find the one right for you.

    For more information on the CSP Program, contact our team!

    Brandie Karpew: pacspgrant@pacharters.org for Program and RFA questions

    Abby Dubinchik: pacspfinance@pacharters.org for Fiscal and Budget questions

    Jesse Bean: pacsptechassit@pacharters.org for Technical Assistance questions

    MARCH

    ·    Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (GPA) Short-Term Project | March 15 | Learn More

    ·    Assistance for Arts Education Development and Dissemination | March 16 | Learn More

    ·    Summer Research Education Experience Program | March 17 | Learn More

    ·    Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education Program | March 22 | Learn More

    ·    School Garden Grant Program | March 31 | Learn More

    APRIL

    ·    ACS-Hach High School Chemistry Classroom Grant | April 14 | Learn More

    ·    Amber Brown Grant | April 15 | Learn More

    ·    Educators of America Micro Grant Program | April 15 | Learn More

    ·    Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) Program | April 16 | Learn More

    ·    D’addario Music Foundation | April 17 | Learn More

    ·    Alaska Native Education Program | April 21 | Learn More

    ·    The Lawrence Foundation Grants | April 30 | Learn More

     

    MAY

    ·    Indian Education – Formula Grants to Local Education Agencies | May 14 | Learn More

    The contents of this page were developed under a Charter Schools Program (CSP) grant awarded to the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

    https://whova.com/web/pcpcs_202010/