What is included in the Charter School Categorical Block Grant?
Programs that are included in the charter school categorical block grant include any state categorical program that is supported with funds that count toward meeting the Proposition 98 guarantee and meets one of the criteria described below:
- Program is named in California Education Code (EC) Section 47634(a) as being in the block grant.
- Program was established on or after July 1, 1999, and statute does not expressly permit or require charter schools to apply separately in order to participate in the program.
Only those program funds for 'included' programs that are allocated directly to school districts are incorporated in the block grant. Program funds that are allocated to other education agencies, for example, county offices, are not incorporated and distributed in the block grant.
A charter school that receives charter school categorical block grant funds is ineligible to apply separately for any categorical program for which funds have been included in the block grant.
Categorical block grant funding may be used for any purpose determined by the governing board of the charter school.
What is excluded in the Charter School Categorical Block Grant?
Programs are excluded from the charter school categorical block grant to the extent they are not listed in EC Section 47634(a) and meet one of the following program categories:
- Programs for which charter schools may apply for separately (described below).
- Programs for which participation by charter schools is explicitly mandated by statute, for example the state's STAR testing program.
- Programs that are funded with money that does not count towards meeting the Proposition 98 guarantee, for example, state bond-funded programs and federally-funded programs.
- Other programs that are excluded by name or category in statute,
- Special Education programs.
- Court Ordered and Voluntary Desegregation programs, and successor programs.
- Lottery funds.
- Economic Impact Aid program.
- Programs that support or are provided in lieu of capital expenses, for example, school construction and modernization programs, and year- round school grant and deferred maintenance programs.
Charter schools may be eligible to apply separately for funds from certain state categorical programs that are excluded from the charter school categorical block grant to the extent that the:
- Program was established prior to July 1, 1999, for the purpose of serving K-12 pupils, and schools and/or school districts are generally eligible to receive the funds, or
- Program was established on or after July 1, 1999, and statute permits or requires charter schools to apply separately in order to participate in the program, and
- The charter school is not receiving funds that are provided in lieu of the excluded programs funds, for example, Economic Impact Aid funding.
To the extent they are eligible, locally-funded charter schools may apply through their chartering agencies - and direct-funded charter schools may apply directly - to the appropriate state or federal agency that administers federally-funded programs that are of interest to the charter school.
Funds from programs that are excluded from the categorical block grant and for which charter schools apply for separately are restricted in use. Charters schools that receive these funds must meet all application and eligibility criteria, all program requirements guiding the use of funds, and all financial reporting requirements.