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Update: DC FY15 Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act Funds for Charter Schools

OSSE is pleased to announce that we received the federal fiscal year 2015 (FFY 15) Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Grant Award Notification (GAN) from the US Department of Education on May 5, 2016.

The Office of Public Charter School Financing and Support (OPCSFS) has been laying necessary groundwork in advance  of receiving the GAN and will now ramp up efforts to finalize all relevant documents and complete all required steps to run the SOAR subgrant competitions.      

We will announce the SOAR competition through the LEA Look Forward, on the Enterprise Grants Management System (EGMS) homepage, on the OSSE website, on the DC Office of Partnerships and Grants Services website, and through the PCSB Bulletin. We tentatively expect the Notice of Funding Availability to be posted in the DC Register by the end of May.

While the timing is less than ideal, OSSE looks forward to working with applicants to execute a smooth competition. To that end, we want to remind all charter LEAs of the funding priorities for this year, in the case that you would like to begin developing ideas and proposals ahead of the official competition announcement:

SOAR Act funds are intended to support District public charter schools and third-party nonprofit charter support organizations that have a substantial impact on the District's public charter school sector. The purpose of the funding is to improve school performance and educational outcomes for public charter school students in the District and provide facility financing in order to increase the number of high-quality public charter school seats. Four competitive funding grants are made available in the following categories:

  1. Ensuring academic quality
    1. Academic Quality grants
      1. charter schools
      2. third-party charter support organizations
  2. Investing in public facilities; and
  3. Influencing replication and growth.

OSSE will concurrently be executing a formula grant application process for the Early Childhood Education grant, based on the Title I eligibility formula.   

These categories of grants and the changes from federal fiscal year 2014 (FFY 14) to FFY 15 are part of the application that was approved by the Department of Education and were developed after multiple opportunities for feedback and with consideration of the feedback received from PCSB, FOCUS and charter leaders. For additional information on DC’s application content and the funding streams, please review the SOAR Act Stakeholder Feedback Presentation which OSSE presented on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015.

For more information or questions, please contact Katherine Cox at [email protected].