The Charter Schools Program (CSP) grant is normally awarded only to charter schools that are opening or expanding their enrollment. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) allowed states to submit a waiver to award distance learning subgrants to all charter schools to address the immediate needs of schools to provide high quality distance learning oppportunities for students.
New Mexico submitted a waiver request, which was approved by the USDE on October 26, 2020. USDE Waiver of ESEA §4303 Allowing Distance Learning Grants The PED issued a Request for Applications and awarded $3,587,607.70 to 38 charter schools in December 2020. Because the maximum of $5,000,0000.00 in funding was not awarded, the PED issued a second call for applications and awarded an additional $991,831.41 to ten charter schools, for a total of $4,519,439.11 to 22 PEC-chartered schools and 25 local district-chartered schools. The terms of the waiver require the posting of quarterly reports:
Allowable Uses of DLG Subgrant Funding
- Software and licenses through the 2020-21 school year
- Professional development associated with providing instruction by distance learning
- Social work, educational counseling, and family engagement
- Costs associated with returning to in-person or hybrid instruction after distance learning
Distance Learning Subgrantee Monitoring
The PED presented a webinar on subgrantee monitoring requirements on February 22, 2021, from 3:30 to 4:30 PM. The informational portion of the webinar was recorded and linked here for recipients who could not attend. The PowerPoint for the webinar is available, along with a one-page overview of key information from the webinar, and a sample grant-purchased equipment tracking spreadsheet. Recipients may use this spreadsheet or another system of their own to track equipment purchased with grant funds, but subgrantees must have and use a tracking system for grant-funded purchases.