Federal Charter School Program (CSP) Grant

The Minnesota Department of Education received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase charter school quality and authorizer accountability. Minnesota’s Federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grant Project will:

  1. Increase the number of high-quality charter schools in the state;
  2. Establish a charter school accountability framework to increase academic performance and decrease the achievement gap;
  3. Improve the capacity of authorizers to effectively authorize, monitor, and hold charter schools accountable; and
  4. Disseminate promising and innovative practices of high-quality charter schools to each LEA in the state.

Startup Grants for New and Developing Charter Schools
New schools in their first two years of operation and developing charter schools that have had a New Charter School Affidavit approved by the department are eligible to apply for subgrants ranging from $100,000-$225,000 each year for up to three years. Read the Spring Round SFY 2015 Startup Grant Instructions and Application.

View the list of current Federal CSP Startup Grantees

Replication/Significant Expansion Grants for High Quality Charter Schools
We will award federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) Planning/Implementation grants to existing high-quality charter schools that wish to significantly expand or replicate the charter school. Grants are awarded for up to three years (one year of planning, first two years of operation) and range from $100,000-225,000 per year. Read the official definitions of “significant expansion” and “replication".  Review the Charter School Expansion/Replication Spring Round SFY2015 Instructions and Application.

An interim definition of “high-quality” incorporates MCA proficiency and growth (and graduation rate for high schools) along with a demographic comparison. Twenty-two charter schools have been designated as “high-quality” for 2015, based on this interim definition. The department is developing a comprehensive performance framework that incorporates multiple indicators of success (including operational and financial performance indicators) that will replace the interim definition. Read the method and process for determining eligibility and view the list of 22 eligible charter schools.

View the list of current Federal CSP Replication/Significant Expansion for High Quality Charter Schools Grantees

Best Practice Mini-Contracts for High-Quality Charter Schools

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), Charter Center, is soliciting applications from eligible high-quality charter schools (HQCS) interested in creating replicable materials to disseminate best practices to all public schools in the state of Minnesota. Three mini-contracts ranging from $2,000-$4,000 are expected to be awarded by September 15, 2014. See the Best Practice Mini-Contract Application linked below for more details and information.

Download the Archived Best Practice Mini-Contract Application.

Click here to access free best practice resources for your school!

Key Milestones for Developing Charter Schools and Startup Funds
  1. Develop your ideas and plans for founding a new charter school (see Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.10, Subdivision 4).
  2. Identify and contact an approved authorizer that is accepting new charter school applications and would be a fit for your school.
  3. Follow the authorizer’s steps for application (processes and timelines vary).
    • If approved by the authorizer, continue to step 4.
    • If not approved by an authorizer, choose whether to apply to a different authorizer or to take a step back and rethink/re-frame.
  4. Once approved by an authorizer, the authorizer submits a New Charter School Affidavit to MDE.
  5. After the New Charter School Affidavit is approved, the charter school is eligible to submit a CSP startup grant application during an active competition window.