On September 28th, 2022, the Connecticut Charter Schools Association was awarded $24.5 million in a Charter Schools Program Grant from the US Department of Education. This is the first time these funds have been made available in Connecticut.
What is the Charter Schools Program (CSP)?
Congress first authorized the CSP with overwhelming bipartisan support in 1994, to provide charter school leaders with short-term funding to aid in the costs that come with opening a school.
Why does it matter?
The CSP serves to expand the number of great public schools available to students across the nation by providing federal financial assistance for charter school start-up costs. Charter schools need funds for start-up costs because they do not typically receive state or local per-pupil funding until they enroll students. CSP funding can go toward charter school planning, program design, and the initial costs of opening a school, including the replication and expansion of high-quality charter schools. The CSP also provides resources to help charter schools access facilities and technical assistance.
How much money was the Association awarded?
CTCSA was awarded a Charter Schools Program (CSP) grant from the US Department of Education, totalling $24.5 million over five years. These funds will be used to ensure CT students and families, particularly students most in need, will be able to access even more high-quality public school options.
Who is eligible to apply for a grant in Connecticut?
Through this grant, we can take additional and purposeful steps to address inequities within Connecticut’s public education system by expanding access to high-quality charter schools for students who need them most. Existing high-performing charter schools, charter schools interested in replication, and those aspiring to open a new charter school will be eligible to apply for a grant through this program. More details will be available in the weeks ahead.
What are the goals of the Great Schools for CT program?
The Great Schools for Connecticut (GSCT) project will broaden access to high-quality public charter schools for the very students who need them most. We will pursue three overriding objectives:
- Increase the number of high-quality public school seats for educationally disadvantaged students in Connecticut
- Strengthen the caliber of the state’s charter school operation and authorization
- Heighten collaboration and resource sharing between and among schools with different governance structures.
What is the role of the Association in administering the CSP for CT?
Through a rigorous subgrant competition, the provision of high-leverage advisory, advocacy, training services and technical assistance, and meaningful support for cross-sector collaboration, GSCT will play a critical role in leveling the educational playing field for all Connecticut students.