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New Funding Opportunity for Public Charter Schools: Non-SEA Competition Opens

  • On August 21, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program (CSP) announced a $4 million non-State Educational Agency (non-SEA) grant competition for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of high-quality start-up charter schools. The grants will also support dissemination of best practices for charter schools that have a proven track record of success and have been in operation for at least three years.
  • These funds are for charter schools in states that don’t have existing—or do not win new—SEA grants in September 2015. Since the non-SEA competition has opened before new SEA grants have been awarded, non-SEA applicants may, in some cases, submit applications to the non-SEA competition and become ineligible for those grants if their state is awarded an SEA grant.
  • Despite that possibility, even if your state has applied for an SEA grant in this year’s round, interested charter school operators may still apply. If your state wins an SEA grant—making you ineligible for a non-SEA grant—you can likely repurpose much of your application if you apply for a subgrant from a winning SEA.
  • We anticipate awarding these non-SEA grants in December 2015. This timeline allows charter school operators that intend to open new schools in the 2016–17 school year to apply for federal start-up funding sufficiently in advance of those school openings—either via an SEA subgrant competition or the non-SEA grant competition. Again, even if your SEA has submitted an SEA grant application this year, interested charter school operators in those states may wish to apply for a non-SEA grant in order to maximize their odds of receiving funding in advance of the 2016–17 school year.
  • Interested applicants must apply by October 6, 2015 at 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time.
  • Please visit the Non-SEA Competition page to learn more.

More Details Below:

Am I Eligible to Receive a Non-SEA Grant?

Funds for this competition will support start-up charter schools in states that do not have an existing SEA grant AND do not win a new SEA grant this year. Charter schools in states that meet these parameters may receive grants for planning, program design, initial implementation and dissemination of best practices.
Charter school operators located in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and South Carolina (states that currently have SEA grants): You are ineligible for a non-SEA grant, but may be eligible for an SEA subgrant. Please contact your SEA for more information.
Charter school operators located in every other state: You may be eligible to submit an application for the non-SEA grant competition. Applicants will be ineligible to receive a non-SEA award if their state receives a 2015 SEA grant, but may be eligible for an SEA subgrant.