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TEA Correspondence

A Microsoft Word version of this letter is available for download and PRINTING.


Competitive  Grant
Funding Available


SUBJECT: Request for Application # 701-10-120 2011-2012 Public Charter School Start-Up Grant

Eligible Applicants:
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is requesting applications under Request for Application (RFA) # 701-10-120 from eligible charter schools to provide initial start-up funding for planning and/or implementing charter school activities.  This competitive grant opportunity is available for charter schools that meet the federal definition of a charter school, have never received Public Charter Schools Program start-up funds, and are one of the following: (1) a campus charter school approved by its local board of trustees, pursuant to Chapter 12, Subchapter C of the Texas Education Code (TEC), on or before October 29, 2010, and that submits all required documentation as required by the RFA and previously described in the “To The Administrator Addressed” letter dated July 29, 2010; (2) an open-enrollment charter school approved by the State Board of Education (SBOE) under the Generation 15 charter application pursuant to Chapter 12, Subchapter D of the TEC; (3) a college, university, or junior college charter school approved by the SBOE pursuant to Chapter 12, Subchapter E of the TEC; or (4) an open-enrollment charter school designated by the commissioner of education, on or before December 2, 2010, as a new school under an existing charter.  For a charter awarded by the SBOE under the Generation 15 application, all contingencies pertaining to the charter application and approval must be cleared and a contract issued to the charter holder prior to applying for grant funding.  Charter schools that have been notified of contingencies to be cleared prior to receiving a charter contract should be diligent in working with the TEA to complete this process so that a grant application may be completed and submitted by the deadline date.

Description of Program:
The purpose and goals of the 2011-2012 Public Charter School Start-Up Grant program are to increase national understanding of the charter schools by providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools; evaluating the effects of such schools, including the effects on students, student achievement, staff, and parents; and expanding the number of high-quality charter schools available to students.

Project Funding:
The 2011-2012 Public Charter School Start-Up Grant will be implemented during the 2011-2012 school year.  Applicants should plan for a starting date of no earlier than April 1, 2011, and an ending date of no later than September 30, 2012.  Approximately $5 million is available for funding the 2011-2012 Public Charter School Start-Up Grant.  Funding will be provided for approximately 20 projects. Applicants should budget for $250,000 in this grant application.  Subsequent continuation funding will be based on the charter school’s satisfactory progress toward grant objectives, progress of grant activities, compliance with all grant conditions and requirements, and compliance with all applicable conditions and requirements of the charter.  This project is funded 100 percent with federal funds.

Selection Criteria:
Applications will be selected based on the independent reviewers' assessment of each applicant's ability to carry out all requirements contained in the RFA. Reviewers will evaluate applications based on the overall quality and validity of the proposed grant programs and the extent to which the applications address the primary objectives and intent of the project. Applications must address each requirement as specified in the RFA to be considered for funding. TEA reserves the right to select from the highest-ranking applications those that address all requirements in the RFA and that are most advantageous to the project.

TEA is not obligated to approve an application, provide funds, or endorse any application submitted in response to this RFA. This RFA does not commit TEA to pay any costs before an application is approved. The issuance of this RFA does not obligate TEA to award a grant or pay any costs incurred in preparing a response.

Requesting the Application:
RFAs are no longer available in print.  The announcement letter and complete RFA will be posted on the TEA website at for viewing and downloading.  In the “Select Search Options” box, select the name of the RFA from the drop-down list. Scroll down to the “Application and Support Information” section to view all documents that pertain to this RFA.

Applicants’ Conference:
An applicants’ conference will be held on Wednesday, October 28, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the Texas Educational Telecommunication Network (TETN) available at each regional ESC (TETN Event #8245). To locate the nearest TETN facility, applicants should contact the TETN site manager at their regional ESC.  A complete list of ESCs, including contact information, is available on the TEA website at

Questions relevant to the RFA may be sent to Arnoldo Alaniz at or faxed to (512) 463-9732 prior to Tuesday, October 26, 2010. These questions along with other information will be addressed in the presentation. The conference will be open to all potential applicants and will provide prospective applicants an opportunity to receive general and clarifying information about the program and RFA.

The entire applicants’ conference will be digitally recorded. Prospective applicants who are not able to attend the applicants’ conference may request a password to download a video stream that is viewable on their computer desktop. Applicants should contact the TETN site manager at their local ESC to request the procedures to download the video stream.

For Further Information:
For clarifying information about the RFA, contact Jeanne Rankin, Division of Discretionary Grants, TEA, (512) 463-9269.
In order to assure that no prospective applicant obtains a competitive advantage because of acquisition of information unknown to other prospective applicants, any and all questions must be submitted in writing to the TEA contact persons identified in Part 2: Program Guidelines of the RFA at

Copies of the questions and the written answers thereto will be posted on the TEA website in the format of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at  In the “Select Search Options” box, select the name of the program/RFA from the drop-down list.  Scroll down to the “Application and Support Information” to view all documents that pertain to this RFA.

Deadline for Receipt of Applications:
Applications must be received in the Document Control Center of TEA by 5:00 PM (Central Time), Thursday, December 2, 2010, to be eligible to be considered for funding.

Nora Ibáñez Hancock, Ed.D.
Associate Commissioner
Office for Planning, Grants and Evaluation

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