5 Charter School Grants to Apply for in 2018
Charter schools fulfill a great and growing need in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, charter schools now make up 8 percent of American elementary and secondary schools. The growth this number represents is astounding, especially when you consider that the first charter school opened in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1992. Each year, more charter school applications are being turned in to state governments to keep up with the great demand.
Although there has been a great deal of growth in the charter school movement over the past few years, government funding still lags far behind. According to the Center for Education Reform, charter school students receive 61 cents per dollar of funding that typical public school pupils receive. This disparity has grown in recent years, creating a budgetary crisis for many charter schools.
Increasingly, many charter schools are turning to charter school grants to increase capital for expansion or to close budget gaps. Some charter schools wishing to open have to show grant funding they’ve been awarded when they make their initial charter school application. Situations like these make charter school grants more vital than ever. If you’re looking to apply for a grant, consider these five grants in 2018.
1. NewSchools Venture Fund
The NewSchool Venture Fund was founded by Bill and Melinda Gates in 1998 to assist non-profit charter school growth in the United States. As one of the older granting organizations in the country, it has distributed millions of dollars to non-profit charter schools. Additionally, they have also started a grant program that allows for-profit entities to receive grants for their charter schools as well.
According to their website, NewSchools Venture Fund has awarded over $260 million dollars into 200 education ventures. That funding has had an even broader impact on 470 schools with a student reach of 200,000. It’s undeniable that the backing of the Gates Foundation has made this group a major player in the charter school grant system.
2. Charter Schools Program Developer Grants
This program, run by the US Department of Education, gives assistance to charter schools that are starting up. In fact, the official name of this grant is “Charter Schools Program Developer Grants for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools.” Once you get past the long name, you’ll see that this charter school grant can be extremely helpful for schools who are making their charter school application.
Included in the language of this grant is a provision for priority to schools that desire to open in “underserved, high-poverty, rural areas.” Timelines on this grant are fairly strict, so check their website to make sure that you are able to submit your application before the deadline. Grants average $200,000 per school, so it’s an avenue of funding worth exploring.
3. National Charter School Resource Center
An additional resource of private grants is the National Charter School Resource Center. This organization funds several different charter school grants that should be of interest to a charter school administration. A quick scan of their website will show dozens of different grants at any given time. These grants are for amounts from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.
As the NCSRC is the organization that brings these different grants together, you should take time to explore their website and find which grants will fit your current situation. You’ll quickly be able to sift through the grants that meet your criteria and needs. Identify which grants you’d like to apply for and start the process. Their website indicates that they update their charter school grant list often, so check back frequently for the newest additions.
4. Credit Enhancement For Charter School Facilities Program
One of the greatest hurdles for charter schools is funding capital improvements. Typical public schools have access to taxpayer-funded government bonds that charter schools usually do not have the ability to obtain. According to the program’s website, “The purpose of the Credit Enhancement program is to award grants to eligible entities that demonstrate innovative methods of helping charter schools address the cost of acquiring, constructing, and renovating facilities by enhancing the availability of loans and bond financing.”
Once this grant is obtained, a charter school will have a greater ability to issue bonds, making the purchase of land, buildings, or capital improvements much more accessible. As a government program, ensure you check application deadlines and be aware that delays are not only possible, but likely.
5. The Louis Calder Foundation
The Louis Calder Foundation was established in 1851 by the timber magnate of the same name. In recent years, the foundation has placed an emphasis on helping charter schools in areas where typical public schools have traditionally underachieved. The foundation also is a key grant writer to faith-based schools, many of which are ineligible for other charter school grants.
The foundation offers opportunities for several different types of grants. Many of these are valued over $100,000. Schools in large metropolitan or poverty-stricken areas will find that the Louis Calder Foundation is understanding about the needs of their students.
Whatever stage of your school is in, whether you’re filling out your charter school application or if you’ve been established for some time, you’ll find that grants can be a key component in the budget of a charter school. With so many laws to navigate and grants to review, the process can feel simply overwhelming. Charter Asset Management wants to assist your school in achieving its fullest potential. Allow our team of experts to walk you through your options. Contact us today.