The California School Finance Authority (“CSFA”) has announced a filing deadline of 5:00 p.m. on April 19, 2019 for new applications for funding from Funding Round No. 15 of the Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program. The Program, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides high-performing charter schools with reimbursements for rent and lease payments, debt service payments, Proposition 39 pro-rata payments, and costs related to the purchase, acquisition, design, construction and renovation of facilities. If approved, an Incentive Grant award provides funding to reimburse eligible expenses over a period of three years. Incentive grant funds can only be applied to costs that are incurred after the grant is awarded. Also, an award for purchase, construction or renovation of a facility requires verification that the project has been initiated within six months of the award. As a condition of receiving federal funds, certain legal requirements will apply, including compliance with the federal prevailing wage law for construction workers (i.e., the Davis-Bacon Act).
To be eligible, the charter school must have an approved charter, be in good standing with its authorizer, and have completed at least one school year of instructional operations under its current County-District-School (CDS) Code and charter number issued by the California Department of Education. As the name implies, grant applications are evaluated using an incentive-based point system, which ranks applications according to certain objective criteria (preferences are given for charter schools that serve low income students, exhibit high student performance, offer a school choice option, etc.). While a charter school that receives funding under the Charter School Facility Grant Program (i.e., SB 740) may also receive funding under the Incentive Grants Program, the amount of an incentive grant is limited to the eligible costs that are not funded under SB 740. More information about the Incentive Grant program and the application can be found at https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/csfa/incentive.asp.
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