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Start-up Process

New Hampshire's charter school federal start-up grant (CFDA 84.282A - ending July 31, 2015) has been approved for a second one-year extension to July 31, 2017. This will allow the Department to fulfill existing funding obligations.

At this time, there are no federal startup funds available. New Hampshire was not chosen as one of the states to receive federal funds under the 2016 Charter Schools Program grant competition.

Charter school startup funds support the initial planning and implementation of a charter school.

Start-up funds are allowed for up to 36 months (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.

The charter school must open within 18 months of the grant award in order to continue receiving federal funds.

STEP 2 - Charter School Federal Startup Grant (August 1, 2010 - July 31, 2015) - CFDA 84.282A

UPDATE: One-year extension granted to July 31, 2017 (this extension does not provide additional start-up funds)

Charter school developer(s) must have received authorization to establish a public charter school by the New Hampshire State Board of Education (see Charter School Authorization - Step 1).

In addition, applicants must demonstrate eligibility as a new charter school that has not previously existed or a conversion charter school. A conversion school is a public school that has substantially changed its curriculum, staff and/or school design in order to increase student academic performance as part of a turnaround process. Schools that have received a CSP startup subgrant under another school name are not eligible.

To be eligible to apply for start-up funding, applicants must meet the definition of a charter school. All grant applicants must demonstrate they meet the following federal definition of a “charter school” as outlined in the ESEA (P.L. 107-110, Section 5210(1)).

The term “charter school” means a public school that:

a. In accordance with a specific State statute authorizing the granting of charters to schools, is exempt from significant State or local rules that inhibit the flexible operation and management of public schools, but not from any rules relating to the requirements in paragraphs 1 through 12 of this definition;

b. Is created by a developer as a public school, or is adapted by a developer from an existing public school, and is operated under public supervision and direction;

c. Operates in pursuit of a specific set of educational objectives determined by the school’s developer and agreed to by the authorized public chartering agency;

d. Provides a program of elementary or secondary education, or both;

e. Is nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, employment practices, and all other operations, and is not affiliated with a sectarian school or religious institution;

f. Does not charge tuition;

g. Complies with the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;

h. Is a school to which parents choose to send their children, and that admits students on the basis of a lottery, if more students apply for admission than can be accommodated;

i. Agrees to comply with the same Federal and State audit requirements as do other elementary schools and secondary schools in the State, unless such requirements are specifically waived for the purpose of this program;

j. Meets all applicable Federal, State, and local health and safety requirements;

k. Operates in accordance with State law; and

l. Has a written performance contract with the authorized public chartering agency in the State that includes a description of how student performance will be measured in charter schools pursuant to State assessments that are required of other schools and pursuant to any other assessments mutually agreeable to the authorized public chartering agency and the charter school. 20 U.S.C. 7221i(1).

To apply for federal start-up funds, review the following:

  • Review the Charter School Startup Grant Application - Request For Proposal. The grant application provides the requirements to request federal start-up funds.
  • Startup funds are allowed up to 36 months (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.
  • Grant Award Matrix Acrobat Reader - the matrix shows the funding amounts for each type of charter school.
  • Develop a proposed startup grant application. The request for proposal, grant award matrix above will assist the applicant.

How may federal startup funds be used?

Requirements for Submitting an Application

  • Complete applications must include a table of contents and an original signature on the cover sheet (see Appendix B within the start-up grant application - request for proposal).
  • Application format: no less than 12-point font and all pages must be numbered. Applications shall not exceed 20 pages excluding relevant appendices.
  • Provide a three-year budget showing the federal funds requested and breakdown of activities for each expenditure category. Categories include: curriculum and instruction and assessment materials, books, supplies and materials, furniture and equipment, facility readiness, contracted services and professional development activites. For a template, please see startup budget template Excel. This template may be modified to suit the applicant.

Applicants must submit the following:

  • One (1) original application and three copies to:
    Michelle Gauthier
    Charter School Office
    New Hampshire Department of Education
    101 Pleasant Street
    Concord, NH 03301

  • One electronic copy of the complete application to:

Review of Start-up Application

  • The Start-up Grant Application Evaluation Rubric Acrobat Reader is used to determine the quality of an application. Scoring is based on a 100-point scale across eight (8) components.
  • A review team, designated by the Department, evaluates the application.
  • The applicant shall be provided with written comments, including suggested amendments or modifications if the Department determines that amendments or modifications are needed.
  • The Department makes a decision to award or deny the applicant's request for federal start-up funds.
  • The Department will inform the applicant, in writing, of the decision.

Fiscal Requirements for a Newly Authorized Charter School

Federal start-up funds may not be allocated to a Foundation; the charter school receives the funds directly from the State of New Hampshire.

Charter schools operate as a nonprofit organization (under a "charter" granted by the State Board of Education) and must register with the Secretary of State.

Prior to receiving federal startup funds, the applicant (charter school) shall review and complete the required startup forms to include: State of New Hampshire Vendor Application and Alternate W-9, NHDOE Reporting Authority (RA) Request and signed General Assurances.

For a complete list of required forms, please refer to Fiscal Agent Requirements.

Acrobat Reader Symbol Acrobat Reader format. You can download a free reader from Adobe.

Microsoft Excel Symbol Microsoft Excel format. You can download a free reader from Microsoft.

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711