COVID-19: Resources for Charter School Programs (CSP) Grantees
The National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) has created a webpage of resources to support Charter School Programs (CSP) grantees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resources include available federal guidance as well as links to share how other grantees are supporting schools, students, and families during COVID-19.
All resources are free and accessible to the public. Readers should review each resource carefully to determine which supports and practices are most applicable to their own environments. Please check this page periodically as more resources will be added.
If you have a resource to suggest, or if you are a CSP grantee requesting technical assistance, please contact us.
First Stop Resources from ED and CDC
These resources should be your first stop for high-level information and resources on dealing with COVID-19.
U.S. Department of Education’s COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
This website (ed.gov/coronavirus) is a collection of resources for education institutions from federal sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office of Civil Rights, and other authorities. The first section of linked resources focuses on supporting elementary and secondary schools. Other information includes resources for at-home learning and practices schools may employ to promote disease prevention.
This section includes policy updates, memos, and other information from the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies related to COVID-19.
Regularly Updated Websites
Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Response to COVID-19
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) provides information on waivers, supplementary supports, and other resources related to COVID-19. Information on waivers related to school-related programs including the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option and the Nationwide Afterschool Activity program, are included.
CDC Guidance for Schools and Child Care Programs: Before and During an Outbreak
This guidance from the CDC for schools includes actions for before, during, and after a pandemic. Additional linked resources include advice for talking to children about coronavirus and recommendations on cleaning and disinfecting.The CDC has added a School Decision Tool to assist administrators in making (re)opening decisions regarding K-12 schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Department of Labor Coronavirus Resources
The Department of Labor provides resources, general guidance, and FAQ documents to support employers and employees. Topics include workplace safety; wages, hours, leave; unemployment insurance flexibilities; support for dislocated workers and states; job corps students, and federal contractors.
Guidance Issued in April 2020
Secretary DeVos Reiterates Learning Must Continue for All Students, Declines to Seek Congressional Waivers to FAPE, LRE Requirements of IDEA
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos reaffirmed that individualized education must take place for all students, including students with disabilities. As a result, the Secretary is not recommending Congress pass any additional waiver authority concerning the Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), reiterating that learning must continue for all students during the COVID-19 national emergency. While not advising any waivers to the core tenets of IDEA, the Department is requesting that Congress consider additional flexibilities on administrative requirements under the Perkins Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the IDEA.
COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide
This resource matrix provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture includes information on several funding opportunities to help rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guide specifies the type of "rural customer" and then offers links to technical assistance, financial assistance, and state and local resources. The resources for schools can be found on page 4 of the guide.
Fact Sheet: Select Questions Related to Use of Department of Education Grant Funds During the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019
This fact sheet responds to frequently asked questions related to the use of grant funds during the COVID-19 pandemic. This FAQ document addresses questions of compensation, travel, and conference costs that are otherwise allowable costs under applicable program statutes and regulations and the potential impacts of and flexibility under COVID-19.
New Funding Flexibilities to Support Continued Learning During COVID-19 National Emergency
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has announced new flexibilities to allow schools to repurpose existing funds for technology infrastructure and teacher training on distance learning. States may complete a brief form linked from this resource and will receive an initial determination within one business day. Please see the link for the full text and additional details.
Reallocation of Existing Federal Education Funds
On April 3, 2020, the Department of Education issued a letter to Chief State School Officers outlining an expedited process for states to request flexibility under the CARES Act to extend fund use deadlines and modify how they are using funds under multiple programs due to COVID-19.
FCC Extends Key E-Rate Program Deadline Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced extensions of key E-Rate service implementation and filing deadlines in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. These extensions will alleviate administrative and compliance burdens on schools and enable them to focus on transitioning to remote learning. This resource links to the news release and to the full text of the order.
Guidance Issued in March 2020
Letter Related to Perkins Grant Program Flexibility
This letter from the US DOE Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (CTE) provides state and LEA leaders with guidance on increased flexibility related to Perkins grant programs.
Fact Sheet: Impact of COVID-19 on Assessments and Accountability under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
This is a briefing on the potential impacts and flexibility related to student assessments due to COVID-19.
Office of Civil Rights Fact Sheet: Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Schools While Protecting the Civil Rights of Students
This fact sheet from the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights includes information on responding to discrimination in schools. Specific guidance is provided on topics including schools’ obligations to investigate bullying and harassment and obligations to avoid discrimination based on disability.
FERPA & COVID-19 FAQs
This FAQ document is intended to assist school officials in protecting student privacy in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, this resource includes guidance on health and safety-related exceptions to FERPA’s consent requirements.
FERPA and Virtual Learning Related Resources
CDC Pandemic Flu Checklist: K-12 School Administrators
This resource is a CDC checklist template for school administrators to use before, during, and after a pandemic.
Office of Civil Rights Coronavirus Statement
This letter to education leaders from the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights addresses reports of stereotyping, harassment, and bullying as a result of COVID-19.
The links below are from CSP State Entity (SE) Grantees who have provided resources and guidance for charter schools operating in states with active CSP SE grants, including guidance on distance learning and safety in response to COVID-19.
A note to SEs: If you have an update to the information cited below, please contact us.
Alabama Coalition for Public Charter Schools/New Schools for Alabama
New Schools for Alabama shares free resources for educators, students, and authorizers through a COVID-19 page. It also includes meal pick-up sites and updates related to public education in the state.
Arizona Department of Education
The Arizona Department of Education provides a variety of links and updates on a COVID-19 page, including clarification and guidance on school closure, webinars for school leaders, and remote learning requirements. Guidance is also provided for special education services.
Arkansas Public School Resource Center
The Arkansas Public School Resource Center provides daily updates related to the state’s COVID-19 response. It also provides links to virtual courses for educators, special education services, online resources for parents, and links to the Arkansas Department of Education’s COVID-19 response.
California Department of Education
A variety of resources are available through the California Department of Education’s website, including updates from the departments, webinars, and other links to the state’s response to COVID-19.
Colorado Department of Education
The Colorado Department of Education offers COVID-19 resources ranging from guidance from the department to a video on how to talk to kids about coronavirus. The Colorado Department of Education Schools of Choice Unit also offers charter-specific guidance and resources gathered from various organizations and contact information for charter schools with questions.
DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)
OSSE’s home page links to the Office of the Mayor’s COVID-19 webpage. OSSE, the DC Public Charter School Board, and other partners are offering twice-daily distance learning webinars.
Delaware Department of Education
The Delaware Department of Education offers constituents access to a variety of COVID-19 learning activities, as well as guidance for districts/charters on remote learning plans, resources for accessing free Wi-Fi, and guidance on Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and free appropriate public education (FAPE). Some resources are offered in multiple languages.
Florida Department of Education
The State of Florida provides a number of links for schools, educators, and parents through its Department of Education’s website. This includes state and federal guidance for schools and updates from the Department.
Georgia Department of Education
Links to trending topics in K-12 education, as well as updates related to distance learning, special education, and testing are shared on the Georgia Department of Education’s COVID-19 response page.
Idaho (Bluum, Inc.)
Bluum, Inc. provides a variety of COVID-19 resources, including news and information, online learning tips and tools, resources for special education, resources from national organizations and U.S.D.O.E. Office for Civil Rights.
Illinois State Board of Education
Visit the Illinois State Board of Education page for resources related to the state’s COVID-19 response, regular updates from the State Superintendent, as well as guidance for a variety of audiences.
Indiana Department of Education
The Indiana Department of Education provides guidance from various state agencies, as well as remote learning resources and frequently asked questions on a COVID-19 response page. It also offers a weekly webinar series for school leaders.
Louisiana Department of Education
Visit the Louisiana Department of Education for a robust library of COVID-19 resources for parents and educators. Parents can also find links to open childcare facilities and other online learning resources.
Maryland State Department of Education
The Maryland State Department of Education shares updates related to its COVID-19 response.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education provides a variety of updates and resources via its COVID-19 response page. The state also includes specific guidance and resources for charter schools.
Michigan Department of Education
The Michigan Department of Education provides guidance memos, online instructional resources, professional development, and social emotional learning tools through its COVID-19 response page.
Minnesota Department of Education
The Minnesota Department of Education provides COVID-19 guidance to districts and schools, including distance learning templates, guidance on special education services, and other updates.
State of Nevada Department of Education
The State of Nevada Department of Education shares family and instructional resources in both English and Spanish. It also shares documents related to the COVID-19 emergency declaration regarding schools.
New Hampshire Department of Education
The New Hampshire Department of Education is helping schools keep up to date with the latest information and guidance related to COVID-19. Visit the department’s site for guidance documents and recordings of calls with the Commissioner of Education.
New Mexico Public Education Department
The New Mexico Public Education Department shares information related to continuous learning plans and other guidance. It also offers academic enrichment and e-learning guidance for parents and educators.
New York State Education Department
Visit the New York State Education Department’s website for guidance related to COVID-19. It has also launched a website on continuity of learning to provide districts and teachers with tools to keep students engaged. The Charter School Office provides further guidance for the state’s charter schools.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction offers remote learning resources and information via its website. It also shares other links ranging from special education to federal programs.
Ohio Department of Education
The Ohio Department of Education provides links to help constituents navigate resources related to COVID-19, including support for students experiencing homelessness, students with disabilities, and the overall social, emotional, and behavioral health of the state’s students.
Oklahoma Public School Resource Center
The Oklahoma Public School Resource Center provides links to guidance and other resources through its webpage. It also includes a COVID-19 podcast series.
Oregon Department of Education
The Oregon Department of Education provides links for school leaders, mental health and social support, and resources for parents and families through its COVID-19 page.
Rhode Island Department of Education
The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) provides a variety of updates and resources for its various constituents through its COVID-19 website, including resources for distance learning, tips for families, and RIDE team contact information.
South Carolina Department of Education
The South Carolina Department of Education provides links and resources for parents and educators, including food sites, Wi-Fi hotspots, and information for students with disabilities. It also includes a parent resource on how to talk to children about COVID-19.
Tennessee Department of Education
The Tennessee Department of Education provides COVID-19 resources including a public information phone line, guidance on school closures, information on nutrition programs, and resources to support special populations.There is also a presentation summarizing Tennessee’s statewide strategy on COVID-19 response.
Texas Education Agency
To support the flow of information to parents, students, and educators, the Texas Education Agency provides links to various information sources. It also provides guidance on closures, assessments, waivers and funding, school governance, and staff/educator issues. Guidance is also provided via a memo to open enrollment charter schools.
Washington State Charter Schools Association
The Washington State Charter Schools Association provides an FAQ and other resources for the state’s charter school community and families, including statewide and national resource links, at-home learning strategies, as well as resources for free or low-cost internet, food and childcare, housing, and mental health. COVID-19 fact sheets are shared in seven languages.
Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction shares resources for school districts, students, and families via its COVID-19 response page, including resources for continuous learning, a parent guide and more.
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction offers instructional guidance and resources for families via its COVID-19 website. Visit the website for information related to waivers, special education, virtual/online learning, assessments, and more.
Credit Enhancement Grantee Resources
These resources are from CSP Credit Enhancement (CE) Grantees who have provided information on their organizations’ operational adaptations in response to COVID-19, contact information for staff, guidance for small businesses and schools, and more.
A note to CEs: If you have an update to the information cited below, please contact us.
California Charter School Association
California Charter School Association (CCSA) offers California charter school guidance and sample resources that help response efforts to COVID-19, including Executive Orders that add protections and guidance for charter schools, legal guidance, guidance from CDPH and CDE, and frequently asked questions.
Capital Impact Partners
Capital Impact Partners provides COVID-19 Relief Programs and Resources for Non-Profits including descriptions of guidance and eligibility for federal, state and local relief programs. Capital Impact also offered An Open Letter from CDFI Leaders to Our Supporters which provides examples of what CDFIs can do to help investees.
New Jersey Community Capital
New Jersey Community Capital launched the Garden State Relief Fund to meet the immediate needs of small businesses and nonprofits critically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please reach out to your NJCC representative if you have questions and check their website for updates.
Hope Enterprise Corporation
Hope Enterprise Corporation provides updates on the organization’s response to COVID-19, including steps to ensure members have access to their accounts, convenience services, branch closings, assistance for those facing financial burdens due to the pandemic, health and safety precautions, and fraud prevention tips. The organization shares Coronavirus Resources, including advice and information about financial assistance that may be available to individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic.
Illinois Facilities Fund
Illinois Facilities Fund (IFF) posted COVID-19 Resources for Nonprofits providing links to governmental, non-profit and relief funds. IFF encourages their community to share how IFF can provide relief by contacting IFF staff.
The KIPP Foundation has a page for all COVID-19-related updates regarding KIPP network schools, charter-specific news and new resources. KIPP shared a COVID-19 Resources for Navigating School Closures, a blog post that provides a summary of resources relating to remote learning, options for accessing free Wi-Fi, food access, and quick links to CDC recommendations.
Low Income Investment Fund
Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) posts updates on the company’s operational adjustments as a result of the COVID-19 situation. The latest updates on LIIF’s operations can be found on their website.
LISC’s COVID-19 Response page, updated daily, houses information regarding the LISC Rapid Relief and Resiliency Fund, the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund, local funding opportunities, information for borrowers and grantees, federal policy priorities, and news updates. Please reach out to your local LISC contacts if you have questions or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MassDevelopment has posted an update regarding staff availability. To contact MassDevelopment with questions related to COVID-19, visit their employee directory for direct dial numbers for staff, call 617-330-2000, or complete an online contact form.
Non-Profit Finance Fund
Non-Profit Finance Fund (NFF) hosts a repository of COVID-19 Tools and Resources for non-profits including budgeting tools and resources for non-profits and funders responding to COVID-19. NFF has also created the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, which providing no-interest loans to New York City nonprofit organizations.
DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE)
OSSE’s home page links to the Office of the Mayor’s COVID-19 webpage, which includes a Kids and School Resources webpage with distance learning resources, meal drop-off sites, and other supports available through the D.C. Public Schools.
During COVID-19, Reinvestment Fund encourages borrowers with questions about loans to email email@example.com. If you are an investor and have questions about your investment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For all other inquiries, please email email@example.com.
Resources for Educating Students with Disabilities
These resources address how to serve and support students with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis.
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Q&A: Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Q&A on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak provides informal guidance on states’ responsibilities to infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities and their families, and to the staff serving these children.
Supplemental Fact Sheet Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities
This March DOE Office of Civil Rights fact sheet addresses the issue of distance learning for students with disabilities.
Office of Special Education Programs Update
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) March Newsletter features information about COVID-19 resources, implications of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, opportunities for technical assistance on IDEA, and models for providing special education and related services, and more.
National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS) webpage includes resources for supporting students with disabilities during the COVID-19 crisis. Resources include webinars, FAQ documents, and instructional tools.
Resources for Educating English Learners
The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition is providing resources for schools supporting English learners and their families, including resources for facilitating online instruction and distance learning plans. All resources included are available for free, and the list will be updated periodically.
Additional Resource Repositories for Charter School Stakeholders
CASEL CARES Initiative: Connecting the SEL Community
CASEL CARES is an initiative that addresses how SEL (social emotional learning) can be most helpful in response to today’s circumstances. CASEL shares four steps for educators, families, and caregivers to support SEL during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their website also provides free SEL resources related to topics including self-care strategies, supporting virtual teams, and talking to students about COVID-19. CASEL also hosts free webinars held every Friday featuring experts on a variety of key topics.
COVID-19 Resources for Educators
WestEd offers an evolving selection of evidence-based resources and guidance designed to help educators continue to make a positive difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults during these difficult times. Resource and guidance are offered in the following topic areas: Distance & At-Home Learning; English Learners; Health, Safety, & Well-Being; Online Professional Learning; Resource Planning & Management; Science & Mathematics; and Special Education.
Resources from National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) provides resources for charter school leaders, educators, and support organizations on topics including the potential impact on educational inequities, students’ privacy and civil rights, and distance learning resources and platforms. The Alliance is also posting upcoming COVID-related webinars.
Resources for Authorizers from National Association of Charter School Authorizers
The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) has curated resources for charter school authorizers that include information on enrollment lotteries, how charter authorizers can support schools, and resources for addressing equity concerns amplified by COVID-19.
Resources from the National Comprehensive Center
This webpage continually compiles the latest information and updates from the Department, and links to other useful resources. The National Comprehensive Center also shares a repository of resources to support continuity of learning from federal, state-funded, reputable non-profit, or national education organizations.
Resources from Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) TA Center
The REMS TA Center shares a website with resources on ensuring continuity of operations and learning before, during, and after emergency incidents for education agencies.
What Charter Schools Need to Know: Federal COVID-19 Response Legislation and Charter Schools
Bellwether Education Partners and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools developed a webpage for charter schools that tracks COVID-19-related legislation, eligibility requirements, and how it impacts charter schools.
The resources below can support small businesses, schools, and other organizations requiring financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Secretary DeVos Makes Available Over $13 Billion in Emergency Coronavirus Relief to Support Continued Education for K-12 Students
More than $13.2 billion in emergency relief funds are now available to state and local education agencies to support continued learning for K-12 students whose educations have been disrupted by the coronavirus. This funding is allocated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Education leaders will have the flexibility to use funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund (ESSER Fund) for immediate needs, such as tools and resources for distance education, ensuring student health and safety, and developing and implementing plans for the next school year. SEAs have until July 1, 2020, to apply for ESSER funds by submitting a simple signed Certification and Agreement form to ESSERF@ed.gov. The Department intends to process each submitted form within three business days of receipt.
School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV)
Project SERV funds short-term and long-term education-related services for local educational agencies – including charter schools that are LEAs. In response to the pandemic, the CARES Act increases Project SERV by $100 million for sanitizing facilities and for expanding distance learning.
Education Stabilization Fund-Rethink K12 Education Models Grants (ESF-REM Grants)
The competitive ESF-REM Grants program provides support to state educational agencies in states with the highest coronavirus burden to address specific educational needs of students, their parents, and teachers in public and non-public elementary and secondary schools in accordance with section 18001(a)(3) of the CARES Act.
Governor's Education Emergency Relief (GEER)
The Department of Education will award GEER grants - totaling $3 billion to states (governor’s offices) based on a formula stipulated in the CARES legislation. Governors must submit certification and agreement by June 1, 2020, to access the state's funding.
Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER)
The Department of Education will award ESSER grants to state educational agencies for the purpose of providing local educational agencies (including charter schools that are LEAs), with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants
The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. Funds can be used for broadband transmission facilities, video and audio equipment, computer hardware and software, and other services and materials related to DLT. Applicants are encouraged to identify specific ways in which their application addresses COVID-19. Eligible applicant types are listed on the linked site, and include state and local government agencies, federally-recognized tribes, and non-profits. Applications are due July 13, 2020.
New Xfinity customers who are eligible for public assistance programs will receive the first 60 days of the Internet Essentials package with speeds of up to 25 Mbps for free. Thereafter, the cost is $9.95/mo. Internet Essential subscribers are also eligible for a low-cost computer ($149).
Cox Offers Qualified New Customers Free Internet
Cox internet services is offering new customers with at least one K–12 student and who qualify for public assistance programs no cost internet through its Connect2Compete program. Applicants must sign-up between March 13 and May 15, 2020 for the Free Connect2Compete service until July 15, 2020. The cost of the plan after July 15 is $9.95/month.
This loan program is for small businesses, including 501(c)(3) organizations, to keep their staff on the payroll. The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) will forgive the loan if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and funds are used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The National Alliance for Public Charter schools has compiled guidance for charter schools considering an SBA Loan. Check the webpage for updated information regarding availability of funds.
This SBA funding program provides up to $10,000 to small businesses, including private nonprofits, to withstand the loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Alliance for Public Charter schools has compiled guidance for charter schools considering an SBA Loan. Check the webpage for updated information regarding availability of funds.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the FCC has extended the deadline for schools to submit an FY2020 e-rate application (Form 471) through April 29, 2020.
AT&T is offering free wireless data service for the first 60 days to qualified schools activating new broadband lines on data-only plans for school-issued tablets, 4G LTE-enabled laptops, and hotspot devices. This offer is good through May 22, 2020.
The Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund provides grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses with priority given to businesses owned by women, people of color, or in "historically underserved communities." Funds can be used for paying rent, utilities, meeting payroll, paying debt, and operational costs. The application period for Round 1 is closed, but another round will begin mid-April.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, LISC is seeking to raise $100 million dollars to make grants that will support under-served communities and populations. In this effort, LISC secured $2.5 million from Verizon to provide grants to small businesses. There may be more funding opportunities coming; check back periodically for updates.