Charter Schools

The program supports the planning, development, and initial implementation of charter schools and the dissemination of information on charter schools.

Charter schools provide enhanced parental choice and are exempt from many statutory and regulatory requirements.

In exchange for this increased
flexibility, charter schools establish plans to improve student academic achievement and to stimulate the creativity and commitment of teachers, parents, and the public.

Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.

Program Accomplishments

Grants will support approximately 1,200 schools.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Each State educational agency (SEA) receiving a grant should award subgrants to one or more eligible applicants in their State, enabling them to plan and implement a charter school.

Each eligible applicant, other than an SEA, receiving funds from the Secretary or an SEA shall use the funds to plan and implement a charter school.

Grantees receive up to 3 years of assistance, of which they may not use more than 18 months for planning and program design and not more than 2 years for the initial implementation of a charter school.This program is subject to non-supplanting requirements and must use a restricted indirect cost rate which is referenced under 34 CFR 75.563.

For assistance call the Office of Chief Financial Officer/Indirect Cost Group on (202)708-7770.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State educational agencies (SEAs) with specific statutes authorizing charter schools are eligible.

If an eligible SEA elects not to participate in this program or does not have an approved application, authorized public chartering agencies participating in partnerships with charter school developers may apply, directly to the Secretary.

Beneficiary Eligibility

School administrators, teachers, and students and their parents are beneficiaries.



Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Contact the program office for application information. Application notices are published in the Federal Register.

Award Procedures

Contact the program office for this information.


Deadlines are published in the Federal Register.


Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, Title V Part B, Subpart 1. 20 U.S.C. 8061-8067.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 120 days.




To receive continuation funding, grantees must demonstrate substantial progress toward meeting their goals and objectives. Renewals are subject to the availability of funds.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants are awarded for a period of not more than 3 years, subject to the availability of funds.

Post Assistance Requirements


As part of the continuation funding process, grantees must submit performance reports annually.

The programs office will establish a due date.

Final performance reports must be submitted within 90 days after the end of the grant award period.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A- 133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Records must be maintained for three years after the fiscal year in which the expenditure was made by the grantee, or until the grantee is notified of the completion of the Federal fiscal audit. In all cases of audit questions, records must be maintained until resolution has occurred.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $214,783,000; FY 08 est $211,031,000; and FY 09 est $236,031,000. Note: The FY 2008 appropriation permits the Secretary to use, from the amount appropriated for the Charter School Program grants, up to $21,031,000 for the State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants program and Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program. From the $211,031,000 available, the Department will use approximately $190,000,000 for the Charter School Program grants (including national activities), $12,731,000 for Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants program, and $8,300,000 for the Credit Enhancement for Charter Schools Facilities program.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range of New Awards: $1,690,000 - $16,850,000 for SEAs; $10,000 - $15,000 (non-SEAs).

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Department of Education, OII Parental Options and Information 400 Maryland Ave., SW., 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20202. Contact: Dean Kern. E-mail: Telephone: (202) 260-1882.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Selection criteria are contained in program statute. Contact the program office for more information.

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