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PCSGP-13 RFA Webinar Transcript August 6, 2013

The following is the transcript of the Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) Request for Applications (RFA) webinar.

The Public Charter School Grant Program, Request for Applications, webinar was presented on August 6, 2013 at the California Department of Education. The speakers included Julie Russell the Director of Charter Schools Division, Cindy Chan, Administrator, and Benjamin Walker, Steve Smith, Pete Callas, Robert Wilson, and Colleen Quinn, Education Program Consultants.

Return to the Public Charter Schools Grant Program Request for Applications page.

Slide 1: Title Slide

Welcome to the California Department of Education’s (CDE) presentation on the Public Charter School Grant Program (PCSGP) Application for fiscal year 2013–14. My name is Julie Russell, Director of the Charter Schools Division at the CDE, and joining me are Cindy Chan, Administrator, and Benjamin Walker, Steve Smith, Pete Callas, Robert Wilson, and Colleen Quinn, Education Programs Consultants in the Charter Schools Division.

Slide 2: Purpose of Webinar

The purpose of this Webinar is to review the 2013–14 PCSGP application posted as a Request for Applications (RFA). Topics will include a walk-through of the application requirements for charter developers applying for PCSGP funding and provide technical assistance sources. We will briefly discuss important changes for this year’s application process. Please type any questions you have into the Q&A panel. We will pause to answer questions periodically throughout the presentation. If we do not get to a question, we will post online select questions and answers in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) follow-up.

Slide 3: What to Have in Front of You

During this presentation, we will review all components of the application. We recommend that you have the RFA available for easy referral. We will cover the application’s requirements and components starting on page 16 of the RFA, the scoring criteria on page 22, as well as reviewing PCSGP Forms 1–10 and STD Form 204 on pages 27–45.

Slide 4: Time line

Applications are due to the CDE no later than 4:30 p.m. Monday, September 16, 2013. The completed application must be received, not postmarked, by the Charter Schools Division on this date. To ensure receipt, we suggest applicants build in a sufficient time for mail delivery. For applicants wanting to deliver the application in person, a table will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on Monday, September 16, 2013, in the CDE lobby at 1430 N Street, Sacramento.

After submission of the application, during October 7–9, a team of peer reviewers will review and score the applications using the PCSGP rubric included in Appendix A of the RFA beginning on page 46. We will walk through the PCSGP rubric later in this presentation.

Once the applications are peer reviewed, the grant developer will be notified of the peer review results. After passing the peer review, applicants will undergo a review of their budgets. Following a successful budget review, the CDE will issue sub-grant Grant Award Notifications (GAN) to funded charter schools.  To assist schools in preparing a budget, the CDE will host a budget training webinar on August 15, 2013. It is recommended that all who are applying for PCSGP funding attend the budget training webinar.

Note: PCSGP funding is contingent on California receiving continuation award funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

Slide 5: Summary of PCSGP

Authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title V, Part B, Section 5201 through 5211, the PCSGP provides funding for a newly established or conversion charter school. PCSGP funding is fundamentally intended to assist in the development of high quality and high performing charter schools. Funds are to be used for planning, program design, and initial implementation of a charter school.

Slide 6: Focus On Improvement

To receive a PCSGP sub-grant, a charter school developer must submit an application that complies with the provisions described in the RFA. The charter school must have enrollment of at least 50 pupils during the first year, and at least 100 pupils within the second year of operation. Funds are designed to support effective and sustainable improvement activities that increase the likelihood that all students will learn challenging academic content, and achieve proficiency on state assessments. The charter school must also comply with requirements for Autonomy and Public Random Drawing.

Slide 7: Who Can Apply

A newly established or conversion charter school is eligible to apply for PCSGP funding. The charter school must not have been serving students for more than one school year.

Developers who have applied to an authorized public chartering authority, and are awaiting approval, may apply. The Charter petition must be submitted to the authorizer prior to September 16, 2013, and must be approved no later than April 30, 2014, by the authorizer noted on the PCSGP grant application at the time of submission. This due date is a change from the previous year’s date, which was due at the end of the state fiscal year.  An earlier approval date allows schools to participate in the current year’s funding versus the next fiscal year’s funding and application process.

Please note that Charter schools that have received a School Improvement Grant (SIG) are not eligible to apply for PCSGP funds.

Slide 8: Award Decisions

Applications must fully comply with RFA requirements as described in the narrative and assurances signed by the applicant. Upon submission, applications will be read and scored by a trained group of peer reviewers. Applications receiving a “1” in any of the required narrative elements, or, otherwise not meeting the requirements outlined in the RFA, will not be considered for funding.

Applications meeting RFA requirements may be funded based on an overall score in descending order. If insufficient funds are available to fund all quality applications, other factors may be considered, such as reasonable geographic distribution, school size, and grade level distribution.

FY 2013–14 funds are available September 1, 2013. California anticipates receiving approximately $57 million in FY 2013–14 for PCSGP sub-grants. An approved charter school application may receive a maximum of $575,000; the grant award period is for up to 36 months.

Slide 9: Charter School Responsibilities

The charter school applicant must demonstrate the capacity to implement the program described in the narrative to include:

Slide 10: Reporting and Accountability

Applicants awarded PCSGP funds must satisfy periodic reporting and accountability requirements throughout the term of the sub-grant as addressed in the RFA. These requirements include (A) program accountability; (B) fiscal reporting requirements; (C) performance reporting; (D) annual budget reports; (E) creating an annual budget; (F) monitoring; and (G) program evaluation. More detail is provided in the RFA on pages 12–14.

Slide 11: CDE Responsibilities

The CDE is accountable to U.S. Department of Education for monitoring PCSGP recipients through:

These requirements are defined in the RFA on pages 11–14.

Slide 12: Question Break

We will take a short break so that you may type your questions into the text box.

Please note that if questions are not responded to during this live webinar, they may appear in a Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ on our web site shortly.

Slide 13: Application Submission

A complete application with original signatures must be received by 4:30 p.m. on September 16, 2013, in order to be considered for funding. All narrative sections must be fully addressed and the page limits observed. All pages must be in the order listed on the Application Checklist. Please refer to the Submission of Applications on page 25 of the RFA. An original, plus three hard copies, and one electronic copy (Microsoft Word 2003 or later), single-spaced in 12 point Arial font with one inch margins, must be received by mail (not postmarked by) or in person, by 4:30 p.m., Monday, September 16, 2013. The electronic copy must be submitted on a CD or via e-mail at on or before Monday, September 16, 2013. Please do not submit your electronic copy via USB Flash Drive.

Slide 14: Application Checklist

As indicated, the Application Checklist must appear on the front of the application, followed by forms in the following order:

Form 1      Application Cover Sheet

Form 2      Narrative Response, Part 1

Form 3      Narrative Response, Part 2

Form 5      Proposed Budget Summary

Form 6      Proposed Budget Narrative

Form 7      Charter School Work Plan/Activities

STD 204  Payee Data Record

Please note that Forms 4, 8, 9, and 10 are instructions or assurances and do not need to be submitted.

Slide 15: Application Cover Sheet (Form 1)

Most of this form is self-explanatory. However, there is a new question added to the form.  “Is your school managed by a CMO? If yes, note the name of the CMO, if no, then leave blank.”

The “Grant Award Information” box (on page 2 of form 1) refers to the total amount of funds requested for the charter school. The application must be signed in blue ink by the Administrator or designee.

In the “Certification, Assurance, and Signature Section,” the administrator or designee signs this section in blue ink.  The signature indicates that the signee has read and will comply with all assurances that pertain to the Federal CSP.   It should be noted that the Public Random Drawing (PRD) process for the State of California must follow assurance number 21 on pages 42-43 of the RFA.

Slide 16:  Narrative Response–Part 1 (Form 2)

The Narrative Response section consists of seven narrative elements. There is a page limit of 15 total pages for this section. The responses must address all components of each element. Applicants should use the PCSGP rubric, which begins on page 46 of the RFA, as a guide when preparing this section. A score of 2, 3, or 4 on each required item is necessary to be considered for funding.

Slide 17: Scoring Rubric

The rubric is designed to provide guidance when writing the narrative and also serves as a tool to quantify the quality of the application.

Any of the seven elements scored as a “1” will result in the application not being considered for funding.

Slide 18: Educational Program (EP) Element 1

The applicant must describe the educational program to be implemented in the charter. The response must include a description of:

Slide 19: Charter Management Plan (CMP) Element 2

The applicant must clearly describe how the charter school will be managed. The response must include a description of:

Slide 20: Community and Parent Involvement (CPI) Element 3

The applicant must describe the level of community and parent support for the charter school. The description must include:

Slide 21: Sustainability and Alignment of Resources (SAR) Element 4

The applicant must identify all resources, such as other federal, state, and/or private funding, available to the school that will be used to support implementation of the charter program. Examples the applicant should consider include Title II, Part A funds used for recruiting high-quality teachers; Title III, Part A funds used to improve English proficiency of English learner students; and local Control Funding Formula funds used for instructional materials and professional development.

The applicant must describe the process for ensuring that these resources will be coordinated with PCSGP funding to ensure maximum effectiveness in the use of all resources.

The applicant must also propose a plan for how the school will maintain programs when the grant expires.

Slide 22: Targeted Capacity Building Activities (TCB) Element 5

Capacity building is a significant component of the PCSGP. Applicants are required to devote a portion of the grant funds to target capacity-building activities. The exception to this requirement is if a successful charter management organization or applicant can demonstrate that they have already engaged in these activities. For the application, the applicant must either describe how they currently meet this requirement, or if not, how the charter school will use the PCSGP funds to complete targeted capacity building activities that will increase the likelihood of greater sustainability. Capacity building activities include, but are not limited to:

Slide 23: Autonomy (AUT) Element 6

The charter school must be highly autonomous. A program is defined as highly autonomous if it exhibits a high degree of autonomy and flexibility in governance, operations, staffing, and financial decision processes. Page 6–7 of the RFA provides additional information on autonomy. The applicant must provide a description of the level of autonomy the school has from the authorizer.

Slide 24: Notification and Admissions (NA) Element 7

The applicant must describe how students are informed about the charter school and that children are given an equal opportunity to attend the charter school.

Also, the application must describe the school’s admission’s policy.

It should be noted that the Public Random Drawing (PRD) process for the State of California must follow assurance number 21 on pages 42-43 of the RFA.

Slide 25: Narrative Response–Part 2, if applicable

The Narrative Response–Part 2 is not required by all applicants. This section pertains to Compliance with Individual with Disabilities Education Act (or IDEA) and if an applicant is eligible, and applying for the higher grant award amount.

As a reminder, if the school receives SIG funding, that school is not eligible for PCSGP funding.

More information on the higher grant award is provided on page 10 of the RFA.

Slide 26: Question Break

We will take a short break so that you may type your questions into the text box.

Please note that if questions are not responded to during this live webinar, they may appear in a Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ on our web site shortly.

Slide 27: Charter School Work Plan/Activities (PCSGP Form 7)

All applicants must complete Form 7, the Charter School Work Plan/Activities form. There is a 15-page limit for this form. Applicants must provide a description of activities that align to and support the full implementation of the proposed program. These activities will be used in the monitoring of the charter schools progress in planning and implementation of the PCSGP funds.

At least one activity must be provided for each of the seven elements in the narrative response. Each activity must include a time line, which includes specific start and end dates, the individual person or position that is responsible for oversight and monitoring of that activity, and the type of evidence that will be provided to the CDE to verify the implementation of that activity.

The targeted capacity-building element is not required for those applicants that can demonstrate that they have already engaged in specific activities.

Please note, do not complete the “Percentage Completed” column in this form.  This column will only be completed if your application is approved for funding.  This column will be used to document evidence for the Annual Work Plan Progress Report.

Slide 28: Proposed Budget

The application must include:

In awarding PCSGP funds to a charter school, the CDE has the authority to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether less funding is needed to implement the proposed program and activities fully and effectively.

PCSGP Funds:

Budget training and examples will be provided in an upcoming budget webinar.

Slide 29: Proposed Budget Summary (Form 5)

When developing the proposed budget summary, please keep in mind:

Slide 30: Proposed Budget Narrative (Form 6)

The Proposed Budget Narrative must provide more detail than the Proposed Budget Summary. The Proposed Budget Narrative should describe costs associated with each activity indicated in the Work Plan/Activity Form. The budget narrative must be grouped by object codes (e.g. 1000, 2000, 3000, etc.) and include totals by object code series, year, and full term of the grant.

Slide 31: Charter School Work Plan/Activities (Form 7)

As we previously stated, all applicants must include actions and activities required to implement the proposed plan. The Work Plan must include a time line with specific start and end dates of implementation, and the position (and person, if known) responsible for oversight, and types of evidence that will be submitted to the CDE to verify implementation. With the exception of charter schools already meeting the targeted capacity building activities, the Work Plan must address all other required elements in the narrative response (Form 2), and include specific activities for the elements.

Slide 32: General Assurances and Conditions (Forms 9 and 10)

Signature of the administrator or designee on the front of the application indicates (PCSGP Form 1 page 2) acknowledgement and agreement to all assurances. The General Assurances and Certifications (Form 9) and Sub-grant Specific Conditions and Assurances (Form 10) are required to be maintained on site, and are not to be submitted with the application.

Slide 33: Technical Assistance Resources

There are a number of resources that have been identified on pages 79-80 in the RFA. U.S. Department of Education’s Website contains guidance, resources, and other PCSGP related information. Links to the Websites are provided on this slide.

Slide 34: Need Additional Information?

Contact the Charter Schools Division by phone at 916-322-6029 or by e-mail at

Return to the Public Charter Schools Grant Program Request for Applications page.


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