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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
June 29, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

Open Call for Peer Reviewers for Fiscal Year 2018‒19

The California Department of Education (CDE) Charter Schools Division (CSD) is seeking peer reviewers who are state charter school developers, governing board members, operators, and authorizers to score fiscal year (FY) 2018‒19 California Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) applications for charter schools that have applied for a Charter Schools Program (CSP) sub-grant. The primary focus of the PCSGP is to create high quality charter schools that will provide public school choice to students.

The purpose of this letter is to provide information about the peer review and scoring process, timelines, and time commitments, and to request participation as a peer reviewer, on an as needed basis, for the 2018–19 FY. Individuals selected as peer reviewers will be asked to volunteer their time for this activity, either remotely, or in person in Sacramento, California. If traveling to Sacramento, California – limited reimbursement will be available to cover costs associated with your participation.

The Federal Public Charter Schools Grant Program is a sub-grant program funded by the CSP, authorized under Title V, Part B, Subpart 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, (20 United States Code 7221-7221j) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, and administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The PCSGP is a discretionary grant program. California was awarded approximately $49 million in grant funds for FY 2016–19. We anticipate to award approximately $27 million in FY 2018–19.

Federal law (Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title V, Part B, Section 5204) requires a peer review of PCSGP applications. California recruits state charter school developers, governing board members, operators, and authorizers to participate in this process. Reviewers are required to recuse themselves from the evaluation of any application for which they have a perceived or real conflict of interest. Each application will be independently reviewed and scored by two peer reviewers. On an as needed basis, throughout FY 2018–19, peer reviewers will be asked to score the following PCSGP sub-grant applications:

  • Dissemination
  • Awarded to high quality charter schools for disseminating best practices widely throughout California to charter and non-charter public schools
  • Expansion
  • Awarded to high-quality charter schools to support the significant increase in enrollment or addition of one or more grade levels served
  • Planning, Implementation, and Replication
  • Awarded to charter developers to assist in the development and initial operations of newly established or conversion charter schools to develop high quality and high performing charter schools

If selected to participate as a peer reviewer, peer reviewer training will be provided, either in-person, or via an online webinar, prior to the review. The peer review training will consist of the following topics:

  • Overview of PCSGP Peer Review Process
  • PCSGP Scoring Criteria
  • PCSGP Scoring Process
  • Example Scoring of the Application’s Narrative Responses to the Elements
  • Approval Process
  • Peer Reviewer Travel Process

A Peer Review Application and a Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement are enclosed. If you are interested in participating as a peer reviewer, please complete and return both documents, as attachments via e-mail at

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact the Charter Schools Division by phone at 916-322-6029, or by e-mail at



Lisa F. Constancio, Director
Charter Schools Division


Last Reviewed: Friday, April 12, 2019
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