HARRISBURG (May 10, 2022)  – The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter School (PCPCS) today announced the three subgrantees for the Pennsylvania’s Charter School Program (PACSP) Grant.  The subgrantees may receive as much as $1.5 million each.

On September 30, 2020, The U.S. Department of Education awarded its Expanding Opportunities Through Quality Charter School Program Grant (commonly known as the CSP Grant) to PCPCS to support the development, expansion, and replication of high-quality public brick-and-mortar charter schools in the State of Pennsylvania. The grant award will total $30 million over five years (2021 – 2025). Each school must pass through a rigorous, conflict of interest free, peer review process to be selected.

The Pennsylvania public charter schools selected for the second year are: Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship (CSE) in Allegheny County; Renaissance Academy Charter School in Chester County; and Pennsylvania STEAM Academy in Dauphin County.

Dr. Anne Clark, Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools Chief Executive Officer, was thrilled with the results, “Congratulations to the recipients of the grant.  The public charter schools who are receiving the grants have demonstrated educational excellence. The Pennsylvania Coalition Public Charter Schools is fulfilling our mission by providing grants to expand high-quality charter schools in the state of Pennsylvania.”

Dr. Wayne Jones, CEO of Penn Hills CSE, revealed “This award came at a great time, as we are embarking on an expansion project that will expose more students in the Greater Pittsburgh region to our one-of-a-kind entrepreneurship education program. I am thankful to have a team of tremendous leaders who were committed to the application process from start to finish. Their hard work and dedication are truly commendable and an example of the culture we have at Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship. This grant will give us access to resources that will enhance our ability to use innovation as a means to level the economic playing field and empower tomorrow’s leaders to invest in their communities and develop suitable job opportunities for themselves and others. And, for that, we will be forever grateful to the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools and the Peer Review Team for this amazing opportunity.”

Renaissance Academy Charter School CEO Dr. Gina Guarini Bulli proclaimed, “Renaissance Academy is proud to be named among this year’s award recipients. We are confident that the gift of this grant will help us to actualize our long-term strategic plans and allow us to provide a high quality charter option to a greater number of families.”

The announcement was made at PA STEAM Academy as PCPCS journeys to the state capital for National Charter Schools Week. PA STEAM’s CEO Jennifer Morrison acknowledged “The PA Steam Academy is deeply humbled and thankful to be the recipient of the PA Coalition of Public Charter Schools Grant.  We are grateful and excited about the impact this grant will have for our learners, and for education throughout the Harrisburg area.  This grant propels the STEAM Academy forward in our mission to provide a rigorous and unique learning experience. It affords us the opportunity to provide top tier instruction in a state of the art facility, where students feel safe and education is the priority.”

First year recipients are City Charter High School in Allegheny County;  Midland Innovation + Technology Charter School in Beaver County; and Bear Creek Community Charter School in Luzerne County.  Each school has thirty-six months from the time of their award to complete their proposed plans.

How the PACSP Subgrants are Awarded

An external peer review panel reviews each PACSP grant proposal. To ensure a diverse collection of impartial reviewers, the team consists of five primary members and two alternate members, including a successful charter school founder, an expert in charter school business management and finance, and a representative from a Pennsylvania institution of higher education.

Subgrantees can use their funds for:

  • Planning and program design that does not exceed 18 months
  • One-time costs for the purpose of opening, replicating or expanding a public brick-and-mortar charter school
  • Costs associated with preparing teachers, school leaders and specialized instructional support personnel
  • Educational supplies, training, equipment and materials
  • Community engagement activities 

As the recipient of the federal CSP Grant, PCPCS acts as a pass-through entity for competitive funds, which are awarded to high-quality subgrantees who already have approval from their local authorizers to create, expand or replicate a brick-and-mortar charter school in Pennsylvania’s most underserved areas.


About PCPCSThe Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) is the voice of public charter schools in the State of Pennsylvania, representing both brick-and-mortar and cyber charter schools throughout the Keystone State. For more information about the grant announcement, reach out to Cheryl Johnson Watts at c.watts@pacharters.org.