Pennsylvania Charter Schools Grant

Applications for the 2022 PACSP grant will be available on February 1, 2022!

Wondering what you can do now to prepare? Visit our ‘Preparing to Apply‘ page!

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

    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

    Friday, December 10, 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.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2022  11:00 AM-12:00PM
    PA Charter School Program Grant Meet and Greet
    Presented by: PACSP Team

    Get to know the team members and the ins and outs of the PACSP program prior to the first round of applications going live. Time will be allotted for questions, so please bring questions that your organization may have regarding this new and exciting funding opportunity!

    This  meeting will take place via Zoom.  Sign-in information  will be provided via email prior to the  event. If you have any questions, please contact Brandie Karpew, PACSP Co-Director at PACSPgrant@pacharters.org.

    Click here to register for PA Charter School Program Meet and Greet

    Tuesday, February 1, 2022, 11:00 AM-12:00PM
    PACSP Information Webinar – How to Apply for PACSP Funds

    Presented by: PACSP Team

    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!

    This  meeting will take place via Zoom.  Sign-in information  will be provided upon registration. If you have any questions, please contact Brandie Karpew, PACSP Co-Director at PACSPgrant@pacharters.org.

    Click here to register for PACSP Information Webinar – How to Apply for PACSP Funds

    Thursday, February 3, 2022, 11:00 AM-12:00PM
    PACSP: How to Create a Successful Project Budget

    Presented by: PACSP Team

    The Co-Directors will review allowable expenditures, discuss how to successfully complete the Project Budget Template, and how to write a clear and concise Budget Narrative. Time will be allotted for questions!

    This meeting will take place via Zoom. Sign-in information will be provided upon registration. If you have any questions, please contact Brandie Karpew, PACSP Co-Director at PACSPgrant@pacharters.org.

    Click here to register for PACSP: How to Create a Successful Project Budget

    We will also be bringing back Office Hours! Sign in to our Zoom every other Friday during the application period to ask your questions!

    Expand for Technical Assistance for Schools

    Planning for Family Engagement in the Charter School Life Cycle Toolkit: This toolkit will provide charter school leaders and charter school operators with an understanding of:

    • How family engagement strategies can influence the core work of charter schools
    • How to build out a comprehensive schoolwide plan for family engagement
    • Strategies to support authentic, inclusive family engagement
    • What family engagement can look like at each point in the charter school life cycle, from design and opening through replication and expansion or closure.

    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.

    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.