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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2014

Charter School Start-Up Assistance Program
Fund Code: 535

Purpose: The purpose of this federally-funded grant program is to provide new Commonwealth and Horace Mann charter schools with start-up funds for planning and implementing the charter schools' educational plan, academic goals and objectives, and for meeting start-up related costs.
Priorities: In addition to baseline funding of $75,000-150,000, schools are eligible for additional funding if they meet the priorities described below.
  1. High Poverty School (up to an additional $65,000 per year): The charter school will be considered a high poverty school as defined by the Federal Register/Vol. 76, No.16. A school will be considered to be high poverty if at least 50% of its students are eligible for free or reduced lunch or if more than 50% of its students are from low income families using one of the criteria specified under section 1113(a)(5) of the ESEA.
  2. High School Graduation focus (up to an additional $25,000): The charter school's mission is focused on increasing its graduation rates for high needs students. High Needs students are defined as students with disabilities and/or English language learners and/or low income.
  3. College Enrollment focus (up to an additional $25,000): The charter school's mission is focused on increasing its college enrollment rate for high needs students. High Needs students are defined as students with disabilities and/or English language learners and/or low income.
  4. Diverse Population (up to an additional $15,000): The charter school's recruitment and retention is focused on promoting diversity and avoiding racial isolation. The charter school's student enrollment must mirror that of the schools from which its students enroll.
Eligibility: Option A - Planning Period: These funds are available to charter schools that have been granted a charter but have not yet opened.
Option B - 1st Year Implementation: These funds are available to charter schools that are in their first year of operation serving students.
Option C - 2nd Year Implementation: These funds are available to charter schools that are in their second year of operation serving students.
Funding: Funding is subject to federal appropriation. Each allocation is projected to be from $215,000 to $305,000, in total, depending on the start-up year enrollment and whether the priorities described above are met. Specific grant allocations will be sent to eligible charter schools under separate cover.
Fund Use: 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. More detail on instructions in Part III - Required Program Information.

Option A - Planning Period
  1. Budget narrative includes at least $5,000 for fiscal policies and procedures development and $10,000 for curriculum and assessment system development.
  2. Prior planning period fiscal audit, or waiver to extend audit period, submitted.
  3. Pre-enrollment numbers submitted consistent with charter.
  4. Attendance at all spring Opening Procedures trainings.
Option B - 1st Year Implementation
  1. Budget narrative includes at least $10,000 for data management systems.
  2. Completed Opening Procedures Checklist.
  3. Planning year fiscal review or audit submitted or waiver to extend audit or review period requested.
  4. Enrollment figures verified.
  5. Successful full-day onsite verification of initial implementation of all major federal and state programs (Special Education, English Language Learners, Title I, and Nutrition).
Option C - 2nd Year Implementation
  1. Budget narrative includes at least $5,000 for governance development and at least $5,000 for an external review of school operations.
  2. Draft Accountability Plan and Annual Report for Year 1 submitted prior to start of Year 2.
  3. Year 1 fiscal audit submitted.
  4. Enrollment figures verified.
  5. Accountability Plan is approved.
For All Eligible Charter Schools
  1. Indirect costs may not be charged to these grants.
All spending must be consistent with applicable state and federal regulations and guidelines.
Project Duration: 7/1/2013 - 6/30/2014 for schools chartered before February 2013
9/1/2013-8/31/2014 for schools chartered February 2013
Program Unit: Charter School Office
Contact: Joanna Laghetto jlaghetto@doe.mass.edu
Phone Number: (781) 338-3221
Date Due: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 for schools chartered before February 2013
Friday, August 16, 2013 for schools chartered February 2013
Required Forms:  Download MS EXCEL file  Part I and II - Signature Page and Budget Workbook
Additional Information:
  1. Download PDF document Download MS WORD Document  Part III - Required Program Information
Submission Instructions: Submit Part I and II electronically to jlaghetto@doe.mass.edu Submit two (2) sets, each with the original signature of the charter school leader or Chair of the school's Board of Trustees. Mail to: Joanna Laghetto, Charter School Office MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 75 Pleasant Street Malden, MA 02148-4906


Last Updated: June 27, 2013
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