District of Columbia Public Schools
825 North Capitol Street, NE
Washington, DC 20001
Project Director: N/A
First Year Grant Amount: $1,057,220
Second Year Grant Amount: $722,922
Third Year Grant Amount: $1,057,220
Fourth Year Grant Amount: $1,652,901
Fifth Year Grant Amount: $1,082,229
Facility assessments by the District of Columbia's public charter schools reveal a need for additional funding to continue supporting public charter schools in the District of Columbia. Urban renewal is increasing the rents that tenants, including charter schools, must pay. There are two components to the District of Columbia Public Charter School Facilities Aid Program using these grant funds, a General Facilities Allowance component and a School Choice component.
The General Facilities Allowance component will provide a per-pupil facilities allowance to eligible public charter schools based on the number of students estimated to be enrolled in such schools in fiscal year 2005. To be eligible for the General Facilities Allowance, a public charter school must provide evidence that 65 percent of the school's student population participates in the free and reduced-cost lunch program. The amount of funding allocated to the General Facilities Allowance component is about two-thirds of the total program budget.
The School Choice component will provide an additional per-pupil facilities allowance to eligible public charter schools based on the number of students estimated to be enrolled in such schools in fiscal year 2005. Eligible applicants are public charter schools that meet the General Facilities Allowance requirements for this grant and can show that 25 percent of the student population resides within the school boundaries of either a transformation school, persistently dangerous school, or a school that failed to meet Adequately Yearly Progress for two consecutive years. The amount of funding allocated for the School Choice component comprises about one-third the total program budget.
California School Finance Authority
304 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013-1427
Project Director: Katrina Johantgen (213) 620-2305
First Year Grant Amount: $9,850,000
Second Year Grant Amount: $9,850,000
Third Year Grant Amount: $9,850,000
Fourth Year Grant Amount: $9,850,000
Fifth Year Grant Amount: $9,850,000
California has been at the forefront of reforms that seek to provide charter schools with the operational and financial tools necessary to meet the intent of California's Charter School Act of 1992. This statute set out to improve pupil learning, spur the use of innovative teaching methods, provide parents and pupils with expanded choices, hold charter schools accountable for meeting measurable pupil outcomes, provide schools with a method to change from rule-based to performance-based accountability systems, and encourage competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all schools. California has used several approaches to assist approximately 450 charter schools to more readily obtain facilities.
- Proposition 39, which took effect in 2003, requires school districts to provide charter students with facilities that are reasonably comparable to regular public schools.
- California enacted a lease aid program for charter schools in 2001 that reimburses charter schools for the lesser of $750 per student or 75 percent of the lease costs incurred. This program targets schools serving exceptionally high proportions of economically disadvantaged students.
- California established a charter school revolving loan fund in 2001 that provides loans of up to $250,000 to charter schools in their first five years at a rate that is three to five percentage points below the rates they can obtain from private lenders.
- California adopted its Charter School Facilities Program (CSFP) in 2002 and expanded this program in March of 2004 as part of Proposition 55. This $400 million per-pupil facilities aid program funds one-half of the project costs as a grant. Consequently, charter schools are only obligated to pay one-half of their project costs.
California will use its Federal grant to expand CSFP, which was only able to serve one quarter of its applicants in 2003.
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113
Project Director: Cindy Murphy (651) 582-8217
First Year Grant Amount: $5,000,000
Second Year Grant Amount: $4,000,000
Third Year Grant Amount: $2,214,410
Fourth Year Grant Amount: $2,000,000
Fifth Year Grant Amount: $1,000,000
In 1991, Minnesota passed the first charter school statute in the nation and started the first schools in 1992. In the fall of 2004, Minnesota will have 106 charter schools enrolling an estimated 17,000 students. The Minnesota Legislature created a limited school facilities aid appropriation in 1996. The amount of facility aid has increased to 90 percent of the actual cost of leasing (up to $1,200 per pupil) over the years. The 10 percent balance of facility costs that the charter school pays helps assure that schools will lease appropriate and reasonable facilities.
This proposal for facilities grants builds on the strong Minnesota charter school statute and strong financial aid provided Minnesota charter schools. Financial aid in Minnesota provides per-pupil non-facilities funding for charter schools in the exact same amounts as school districts.
However, Minnesota charter school facilities, in general, are substandard compared to regular district school facilities. This grant's first year funding will provide facility improvement subgrants targeted to charter schools in geographic areas with low student achievement. In subsequent years, the funds will boost total state lease aid payments for which there is rapidly increasing demand because of the number of new schools starting. In all years, it will make technical assistance available regarding creative and appropriate school facilities for charter school developers, and it will disseminate best practices in cost-effective facility use.
The grants for school facility aid will particularly benefit students from low-income families and areas where there is a concentration of district schools not making Adequate Yearly Progress by making it easier to start and sustain charter schools by community groups and educators.
Utah State Office of Education
250 East 500 South
P. O. Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4200
Project Director: Marlies Burns (801) 538-7583
First Year Grant Amount: $2,785,655
Second Year Grant Amount: $2,379,392
Third Year Grant Amount: $1,660,850
Fourth Year Grant Amount: $1,279,579
Fifth Year Grant Amount: $798,771
Utah's 30 charter schools are compensated for their inability to access local tax revenue, which traditionally covers Maintenance and Operation, Capital Projects and Debt Service, through Local Replacement Revenue established in fiscal year 2004. The state charter school law mandates that at least 10% of this appropriation be used on charter school facilities. The State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program will enhance the State Fiscal Year 2005 program of $594,848 that provides about $100 per student.
The State Office of Education, in consultation with the Director of the Utah Charter School Board, will manage the grant.