In 2017, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) awarded the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) $22.5 million dollars for October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2022. The award is made under Section 4303 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Title IV, Part C, to:
- support high-quality charter school development and growth through a competitive subgrant program for a) new charter school start up, b) high quality charter school replication, and c) high quality charter school expansion; and
- build high-quality authorizing practices among the state’s chartering agencies (PEC and school district school boards, which includes strengthening charter school accountability by supporting the closure of academically poor-performing charter schools.
In 2017, $6,358,693 was awarded, $5,378,241 in 2019, and $6,066,510 in 2020. The planned $4,704,361 award for 2021 is subject to a successful continuation review by the USDE.
At least 90% of grant funds must be used to award subgrants to eligible applicants. At least 7% of grant funds must be used to provide technical assistance to eligible applicants and authorized public chartering agencies, and work with authorized public chartering agencies in the state to improve authorizing quality, including developing capacity for, and conducting, fiscal oversight and auditing of charter schools. Please see the Educational Leadership Roundtables page (coming soon) and the Quality Charter School Authorizing Initiative page (coming soon) for more information about CSP technical assistance. A maximum of 3% of funds may be used for administrative costs.
If all funds have not been expended by the final year of the program period, PED can request a No Cost Extension (NCE) to extend the program and budget period. USDE has the discretion to award up to four NCEs, up through 2026. PED has expended less than proposed in the original application, and will seek at least one NCE through September 30, 2023.
In 2020, the USDE granted a waiver allowing PED to award need-based Distance Learning Grants to charter schools during the COVID-19 emergency. Please see the Distance Learning Grant web page for more information about these subgrants.
Subgrants to New Mexico Charter Schools
PED awarded two subgrants in fiscal year (FY) 2018, three in FY2019, eight in FY20, and two in FY21. Five of these fifteen awards were to open a new charter school, one to replicate a school, and nine to expand existing high quality charter schools. For a list of subawards, please see the List of NMCSP New and Expansion Subgrants Awarded.
The competition for FY22 subgrants opens in April 2021. Applicants for either a new school subgrant or an expansion school subgrant should visit the NMCSP Subgrant Competition page for information about qualifications, deadlines, and funding available.
Peer Reviews of Subgrant Applications
Applications for CSP Subgrants are evaluated using a rigorous peer review process to ensure subgrants are awarded only to eligible applicants demonstrating the capacity to create high-quality charter schools.
Peer review teams are comprised of one licensed NM teacher, one licensed NM business official, one licensed NM administrator, and one former or current charter school authorizer or authorizing staff, or high level education policy expert. Peer review team members are selected through a rigorous evaluation process and must meet minimum calibration requirements before completing application reviews.
Peer Review Opportunity
The PED is currently seeking peer reviewers for 2021 NMCSP subgrant applications. Peer reviewers receive compensation for their work reviewing applications. Individuals who meet the requirements in the 2021 CSP Peer Reviewer Request for Quotes (RFQ) are encouraged to apply by April 9, 2021. The RFQ has been publicly advertised and is also posted on the PED’s RFPs, FRIs, and RFAs web page,
Because the program budget contains sufficient funds to fund all applications that are found by peer reviewers to meet program requirements, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis in order to allow schools ready to apply early to have budget authority sooner, as well as allowing schools to have more time to prepare their applications if needed. Potential reviewers will be notified by April 13 and should be available for a one hour training on the review process to be scheduled between April 14 and 16, and be able to begin reviewing the first applications the week of April 19-23.
Limitations and Allowable Uses of Subgrant Funding
An eligible applicant may not receive more than one subgrant under this program for each individual charter school for a 5-year period, unless the applicant demonstrates to the Department that the school has at least 3 years of improved educational results for enrolled students.
A CSP subgrant recipient shall use such funds to support the activities described in subsection (b)(1), which shall include one or more of the following activities:
- preparing teachers, school leaders, and specialized instructional support personnel, including through paying the costs associated with professional development; and
- hiring and compensating, during the eligible applicant’s planning period specified in the application for subgrant funds that is required under this section, school leaders and/or specialized instructional support personnel;
- acquiring supplies, training, equipment (including technology), and educational materials (including developing and acquiring instructional materials);
- carrying out necessary renovations to ensure that a new school building complies with applicable statutes and regulations, and minor facilities repairs (excluding construction);
- providing one-time, startup costs associated with providing transportation to students to and from the charter school;
- carrying out community engagement activities, which may include paying the cost of student and staff recruitment; and
- when such costs cannot be met from other sources, providing for other appropriate, non-sustained costs related to opening and preparing for the operation of a new charter school or expanding a high-quality charter school.
CSP Program Staff
Louie Torrez, CSP Program Manager: Louie.Torrez@ped.nm.gov (505) 699-2054