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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2019: Charter School Start-Up Assistance Program

Fund Code: 535


The purpose of this federally-funded Charter School Program (CSP) grant program is to provide new Commonwealth and Horace Mann charter schools with start-up funds for planning and implementing the charter schools' educational plans, academic goals and objectives, and for meeting start-up related costs.


In addition to baseline funding of $500,000, charter schools are eligible for additional funding if they meet the priorities described below.

  1. Access and Equity: DESE will provide $175,000 additional CSP grant funding to schools that either:

    1. Commit to backfilling all vacancies through grade 10 in alignment with current backfilling procedures1, or

    2. Adopt an explicit mission and educational program designed to:

      1. Specifically serve English language learners, or

      2. Specially serve students who are disconnected, over-age and under-credited, or off-track in their high school education;

  2. Immediate High Impact: DESE will provide $125,000 in additional CSP grant funding to those charter schools that quickly provide new, high-quality educational seats to communities by opening with at least 250 seats in the first year of operation.


Option A — Planning Period: These funds are available to charter schools that have been granted a charter but have not yet opened.

Option B — Implementation: These funds are available to charter schools that are in their first and second year of operation serving students.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA 84.282


Funding is subject to federal appropriation. Each allocation is projected to be from approximately $100,000 to $400,000, per year, depending on whether the priorities described above are met including the "Immediate High Impact" priority and the Access and Equity priorities. Specific grant awards will be sent to eligible charter schools under a separate cover.

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding is to become available it will be distributed under the same guideline as listed in the initial RFP document.

Fund Use:

All spending must be consistent with applicable state and federal regulations and guidelines. Schools are given discretion on how to spend their grant funds for the planning and implementation of their charter as granted by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, as long as the following requirements and monitoring benchmarks are met throughout the grant cycle. This grant must be used for actual startup and implementation costs and cannot be used for construction or to purchase food. More information on how the grant can be spent can be found in Part II — Required Program Information and in the CSP non-regulatory guidance.

Option A — Planning Period

  1. Budget narrative includes at least $5,000 for fiscal policies and procedures development and MCPPO training to obtain MCPPO certification.
  2. Budget narrative includes at least $10,000 for curriculum and assessment system development.
  3. Budget narrative includes at least $15,000 for development of a data management system (such as SIF).
  4. Budget narrative includes at least $5,000 for the recruitment of student populations targeted in charter.
  5. Pre-enrollment numbers must be submitted in a manner consistent with the chartered growth plan within the school's approved enrollment policy.

Option B — Implementation (within Year 1 and Year 2)

  1. If Option A award was not received; Budget Narrative includes Planning Period criteria 1–5.
  2. If Option A was received, evidence that Option A's requirements have been met successfully.
  3. Budget narrative includes at least $5,000 for governance development.
  4. Budget narrative includes at least $5,000 for an external review of initial school operations.
  5. Budget narrative includes at least $10,000 for initial implementation of data management systems.
  6. Budget narrative includes at least $2,500 for initial coursework for Sheltered English Immersion Endorsement for administrators and teachers.
  7. Verified enrollment figures are consistent with the chartered growth plan within the school's approved enrollment policy.

Indirect costs may not be charged to these grants.

Project Duration:

Upon approval – 6/30/2019 allocated annually depending on charter award date.

Program Unit:

Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign


Joanna Laghetto

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3221

Date Due:

Will vary-each school will be informed of individual due date.

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I — Signature Page Note: Please sign and date your cover page and ensure the amount matches the amount budgeted
Budget justification for each line item
Justification for additional flexibilities under ESSA (if applicable see below)

Additional Information:
Download Word Document
Part II — Required Program Information
Download Word Document
Part III — Information and Instructions on applying for minor facility repairs, necessary renovations, and one time transportation cost.


Submit all required grant materials through EdGrants.

In EdGrants, districts are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:

  • FY19 535 CSP Grant School Name

All items listed under the required forms section of this RFP should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List formlet of the Application Submission in EdGrants. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with Superintendent's signature, budget justification and justification for additional flexibilities (if applicable). The final budget the applicant is requesting will be entered directly into EdGrants as part of the application submission process.

For Guidance Documents regarding EdGrants, visit EdGrants: User Guides and Information.

Please note: It is up to the school to determine who they want to add as EdGrants Front Office users in order to submit grant application as well as payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls document to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.

1 Currently, Massachusetts charter schools are only required to backfill half of the grades that they serve, and high schools are only required to backfill in grade 9.

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.