No Child Left Behind contains a provision that gives new charter schools grant funding to cover startup and initial implementation costs. Typically the cost of outfitting new classrooms, purchasing curriculum materials, training new teachers and informing the community about a new charter school are all costs in addition to regular operating costs and many new charter schools have no other way to pay for these expenses.
Colorado is in its last year of administering a three-year charter school startup and implementation grant. This means CDE will apply for another grant in 2010. President Obama has recommended another $40 million be added to the next Charter School Program budget. Currently $200 million is provided for CSP funding. CDE's annual grant award is around $7 million dollars, which goes directly to startup and implementation costs in the state's charter schools.
Developers of new charter schools met today at the Adams 12 Training Center in Thornton in order to learn about the Colorado CSP grant process. About 40 people heard from speakers explaining the goals of the grant program, the details of how to request funds and how to write the plans required for the grant application. The grant program is competitive. Recipients will get somewhere between $150,000 and $250,000 for each of three years.