NH CHARTER SCHOOL PROGRAM OBJECTIVES & EXPLANATIONS Roberta Tenney, Administrator DOE
NH CSP OBJECTIVES
THERE ARE FOUR PRIMARY OBJECTIVES TO THE NEW HAMPSHIRE CHARTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Objective 1: To increase the number of high quality charter schools in New Hampshire, particularly those serving educationally disadvantaged students most at risk in rural and urban settings.
Objective 2: To use federal CSP grant funds to improve student achievement for secondary charter school students and increase graduation rates.
Objective 3: To support the dissemination of charter schools best practices to other public schools and LEAs.
Objective 4: To Empower charter schools to become strong independent organizations and support charter school efforts to be fiscally responsible.
CHARTER SCHOOL AUTHORIZATION
There are currently two forms of charter school authorization in New Hampshire.
1. Local Authorization
2. State Board Authorization
Local Authorization Explained
Locally authorized charter schools receive approval to open from the local legislative body, in most cases this is the voter.
Funding is received directly from the district, the amount of funding is determined through an agreed upon contract between the charter school and the local school board.
A warrant article is then submitted to the voters for authorization to fund the school.
Locally authorized charter schools must still receive a State Board approved charter prior to submitting a warrant article.
State Board Authorization Explained
State authorized charter schools are given authorization to open by the State Board of Education.
The 2003 Pilot Program allows the State Board to authorize up to 20 charter schools during the 10 year pilot project until 2013.
Federal Charter School Program
The primary purpose of the Federal Charter School Program is to expand the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the Nation by providing Federal financial assistance for charter school program design, initial implementation, and planning.
SEAs may use CSP funds to award sub-grants to charter schools in the State, charter schools may use the funds only for post-award planning and design of the educational program, and for initial implementation of a charter school.
Planning and implementation grants may be awarded for a period of up to three years, with no more than 18 months used for planning and program design, and no more than two years used for initial implementation of the charter school
Planning & Implementation Grants
Charter school grant funds support the initial planning and implementation
of new charter schools.
Allowable start-up costs are one-time expenditures that support the mission and the plan of the new or proposed charter school.
Eligibility - To be eligible for a Charter School Start-up Grant
the applicant must:
Have a charter and authorization to open.
For charter applications submitted to the local legislative body, conditional grant approval will be given pending local legislative approval to open.
New Hampshire’s highest priority for awarding CSP funds will be to schools that propose to increase the academic achievement of students who are at greatest risk of not meeting challenging state academic standards or completing high school.
In this application, these charter schools will be defined as those programs enrolling a majority of students whose home attendance districts are considered chronically low performing as indicated by an Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) classification, “District in Need of Improvement”. All applications for charter schools that meet this priority will receive a competitive scoring advantage and will be eligible for a 10% larger grant award than that available to applications for charter schools that will not serve this targeted population.
Examples of allowable and unallowable expenditures:
Salaries - Contract salaries and benefits are allowable as long as the activities the staff are engaged in are the planning and initial implementation of the school before it opens.
Rent - Rent is not an initial start-up or implementation cost and not allowable.
Facilities - Grant funds may not be used to buy or lease facilities. Some grant funds may be used for minor renovations, but not large renovations.
Facilities Allowable (minor) renovations include:
To meet applicable federal, state and local health and safety requirements.
Safety code – sprinkler systems, accessibility to ramps or bathrooms
Initial wiring for computer labs
Unallowable (major) renovations include:
roofing, paving driveways
building of rooms
tearing down or putting up of walls
Purchased Services - Allowable
Payment for curriculum development, staff development or related consultant work
Legal fees associated with the creation of the charter school
Equipment - Allowable
Desks, chairs, tables, bookshelves, and other materials to outfit the classroom, computers and other one-time start-up technologies related to the mission of the school
Audio visual equipment, cameras, etc.
No purchase of vans, buses or other vehicles
Travel - Allowable
To attend national and/or state charter school conferences
Reimbursement of staff travel for start-up related activities only
No student transportation costs
No student bus tickets
Instruction - Allowable
Staff development necessary to implement the charter school curriculum (workshops, conferences)