What is the Charter Schools Program?
The federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) provides financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools and the replication of high quality charter schools. Federal funds are also available to share information about promising practices, help charter schools finance facilities, and invest in national initiatives that support charter schools.
As a part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), CSP is designed to improve the public education system through innovative ideas and practices that enable all students to thrive in a global economy. The program is charged with expanding opportunities for children with disabilities, English learners, and other traditionally underserved students to attend charter schools and meet challenging state academic standards.
Why it Matters
Public charter schools continue to grow and deliver outstanding educational options to students nationwide, especially low-income students. The Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University found that charter schools located in our nation’s largest urban districts are showing significant performance improvements for the most disadvantaged students.
Currently, two million U.S. parents would like to send their child to a charter school but can’t because of either a lack of school options or too few seats available at open schools. Starting a new high-quality school takes considerable time, planning, and resources, and CSP funds are critical to this process.