Federal Charter School Programs
There are currently three federal programs that support charter schools: the Charter Schools Program, the State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grant Program, and the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program.
Charter Schools Program
The Charter Schools Program (CSP) provides financial assistance for charter school start-up costs. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) awards grants through a competitive process to state education agencies, like the MN Department of Education, which in turn award sub-grants to school developer groups which successfully complete an application after being granted a charter by an authorizer.
Minnesota was awarded a new Federal Charter School Program Grant in March 2012. The five year grant is for a total of $28.2 million dollars. The Minnesota Department of Education expects to announce the first competition for start-up grants later this spring.
State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grant Program
The State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grant Program provides federal funds through a competitive process to help states cover charter school facility costs. The program seeks to encourage states to develop and expand per-pupil facility funding programs and the cost of charter school facilities.
Minnesota received a Facilities Incentive Grant in 2004. It currently does not have a Facilities Incentive Grant.
Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program
The Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program provides grants through a competitive process to public and nonpublic organizations that enhance the ability of charter schools to raise private capital for the acquisition, construction, renovation or leasing of charter school facilities.