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March 2020 SOAR Act Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

Friday, March 6, 2020

Request for Applications Release Date: Monday, March 23, 2020, 4:30 p.m.

As authorized by the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (SOAR), as amended, (Pub. L 112-10; 125 Stat. 201; DC Code §38-1853.01 et al.) The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) will issue Requests for Applications (RFAs) for SOAR Act grant funds. SOAR Act funds are available to District of Columbia (DC) charter local education agencies (LEAs) and third-party non-profit charter support organizations. The purpose of the funds is to increase the achievement and academic growth of DC public charter school students and to support the improvement and expansion of high-quality public charter schools. This notice provides information regarding two competitive opportunities: Grants to Non-Profit Third-Party Charter Support Organizations (Charter Support Grants) and Facilities Grants.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria: Eligible applicants are DC-based non-profit third-party charter school support organizations that have a demonstrated history of success working with DC charter schools on similar projects. Applicants must use funds to support projects designed to have a direct and rapid impact on academic achievement and outcomes for charter school students overall or on the achievement of historically underperforming subgroups. Applicants are required to submit a letter of recommendation from a DC charter school with direct experience working with the organization as well as a complete list of all schools and districts to which the organization has provided similar services.

Applications will be scored in the following selection criteria: (1) project data; (2) needs assessment; (3) project description; (4) theory of action; (5) OSSE’s priority of meeting the needs of students with disabilities; (6) logic model; (7) an overall description of the project; and (8) the application’s budget.

Length of Award: The duration of the Charter Support grant is for a period of two years from the grant award date.

Available Funding for the Award: The amount available under the Charter Support grant is $2,000,000.  OSSE will provide up to $400,000.00 per “direct assistance” award and up to $300,000.00 per “indirect assistance” award. Determinations regarding the number of competitive grant awards will be based on the quality and number of applications received and available funding. OSSE anticipates awarding approximately 7-10 awards. Successful applicants may be awarded amounts less than requested. Awards are limited to one per organization. Grant funds shall only be used to support activities authorized by the relevant statutes and included in the applicant’s submission.

Application Process: A review panel or panels will be convened to review, score, and rank each application for a competitive grant. The review panel(s) will be composed of external, neutral, qualified, professional individuals selected for their expertise, knowledge or related experiences. Each application will be scored against a rubric and applications will have multiple reviewers to ensure accurate scoring. Upon completion of its review, the panel(s) shall make recommendations for awards based on the scoring rubric(s). OSSE will make all final award decisions. Applications for both grants must be submitted prior to 3pm on May 5, 2020. OSSE estimates that it will award both grants by June 1, 2020; however this date may change.

The mandatory pre-application webinar will be held on the following dates:

  • Charter Support Grants
  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020, from 1-2 p.m. Register
  • Thursday, April 2, 2020, from 10-11 a.m. Register
  • Facilities Grants
  • Tuesday, March 31, 2020, from 1-2 p.m. Register
  • Thursday, April 2, 2020, from 10-11 a.m. Register

Each interested organization must have at least one representative attend one of the above webinars for the specific grant you intend to apply for in order to meet the attendance requirement for the grant. Webinar attendance is tracked electronically through registration and online attendance. The organization representative should be someone who is directly employed by the applicant and is familiar with the project.   

To receive more information on these grants, please contact:

Ronda Lasko
Office of the State Superintendent of Education
1050 First St. NE, Fifth Floor
Email: [email protected]

The RFA for these competitive grant programs will be available on OSSE’s website. All applications will be submitted through the Enterprise Grants Management System (EGMS).

Related Content: Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act Grant