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4 Best Grants to Start a Charter School

Charter schools refer to public schools that are most often funded based on their enrollment (also known as average daily attendance, or ADA), and are mainly funded by the district and the state based on the number of students they cater to.

However, it is necessary to note that the ways these establishments are regulated and funded will vary from one location to another.

According to industry reports, these schools on average are funded at 61 percent, and this entails $6,585 per pupil compared to $10,771 per pupil at conventional district public schools. Unlike traditional district schools, these institutions barely receive funding, as such, they most often have to rely on other independent means.

Federal funding is available when looking to start a charter school business, but these funds are usually channeled via state or local conduit government agencies. 

Available Grants to Start a Charter School

  1. Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP) Start-Up Sub-Grant

This program focuses on making available funding for the planning and initial implementation of newly created or converted charter schools. Start-Up sub-grants for establishment and implementation are qualified for up to $600,000.

You can as well get access to an additional $100,000 in supplemental funding to encourage and improve services for educationally disadvantaged students.

  • Nonprofit Public Agency
  • A newly established or conversion classroom-based charter school.
How to Apply

To apply, you will have to go through the State agencies/departments that are tasked with overseeing this grant.

  1. Community Facilities Grants and Loans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the years has focused on making available funding via its Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program. These funds can be used in the acquisition, construction, and improvement of educational facilities in rural areas.


To be considered you will have to be;

  • Public bodies
  • Community-based non-profit corporations
  • Federally-recognized Tribes
How to Apply

Visit the USDA grant page and search for your state. If state-specific forms are not available, it is recommended you refer to the application materials on the page to begin the process of applying. Also, leverage the page to find the State Office contact information for this program and speak to a Community Programs Specialist before completing any forms or applications.

  1. Start-Up and Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Grants

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is known to offer a wide range of grants to states and charter schools as part of its Charter Schools Program (CSP). Have it in mind that these resources are for new schools or for charter management organizations that intend to expand and develop high-quality charter schools.


To qualify to compete for a replication/expansion grant, your school must be identified on the initial eligibility list by meeting the criteria stipulated in the High-Quality Charter School Comprehensive Performance Framework (CPF).

How to Apply

Visit your state department of education for more information and directives.

  1. Credit Enhancement

The Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program makes available funding in the form of grants to public and private nonprofit entities.

The sole reason is to ensure that charter schools can enhance their credit, especially since it guarantees that the schools can obtain financial capital to buy, construct, renovate, or lease appropriate school facilities. Individual charter schools are advised to peruse the list of grant recipients to see who may be able to help them with credit enhancement.


Qualifying applicants include public entities (such as state or local government entities), and private nonprofit entities.

How to Apply

To apply, you will have to go through the State agencies/departments that are tasked with overseeing this grant

A good number of states are known to make available either direct funding to charter schools or funding via many other mechanisms like competitive applications. As such, ensure to reach out to your state department of education for more information.

Also, verify with city and/or county governments to know more about local sources of grants. Your school might very well qualify for funds based on the demographics of students you serve, or because you are revitalizing the community via your facility project.