Accessing Federal Programs: A Guidebook for Charter School Operators and Developers

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) funds and administers education programs for a variety of purposes and recognizes and rewards excellence and improvement by students, schools, and communities. As publicly funded schools, charter schools are eligible to apply for federal formula grants as well as discretionary grants administered by various ED program offices. These represent a large and important source of federal support for charter schools. For example, in 2015, ED provided about $37.115 billion to improve elementary and secondary schools and to meet the needs of students.

This guidebook provides basic information about accessing the range of programs and resources available to charter schools. Its primary purpose is to provide brief and helpful guidance so that charter school operators and developers can identify and access funds available to qualifying public districts and schools. It does not create any new rights or responsibilities.