2015-16 Performance Fund Information

  • About the Charter School Performance Fund

    The Delaware Department of Education invites eligible applicants to apply to the Charter School Performance Fund (or the “Fund”) outlined in Delaware Education Law §509(m):
    “The Department of Education shall administer a performance fund for charter schools, to be known as the ‘Charter School Performance Fund.’ The Department of Education shall establish threshold eligibility requirements for applicants desiring to apply for funding, which shall include but not be limited to a proven track record of success, as measured by a performance framework established by the charter school's authorizer or comparable measures as defined by the Department. The Department of Education shall also establish criteria to evaluate applications for funding, which shall include but not be limited to the availability of supplemental funding from non-state sources at a ratio to be determined by the Department. The Department of Education shall prioritize those applications from applicants that have:
    1. Developed high-quality plans for start-up or expansion; or
    2. Serve high-need students, as defined by the Department.
    The Fund shall be subject to appropriation and shall not exceed $5 million annually.”

    2015-16 Appropriation and Size of Awards

    In total, $1.5 million is expected to be appropriated for the Fund’s second year. The Department reserves the right to determine number of grantees and size of awards. The maximum possible award for the 2015-16 Performance Fund grant is $250,000. All awards are based upon the availability of funds.

    The Delaware Department of Education recognizes that plans proposed in response to this application may require applicants to apply to open new charter schools or modify existing charters with their authorizer. Therefore, Fund awards that require authorizer approval are contingent upon receiving or modifying a charter during the concurrent charter application cycle.

    Eligibility Criteria

    For Charter Schools Currently in Operation

    • “Meets Standard” overall ratings in Financial and Organizational Frameworks AND
    • At least “Meets Standard” overall ratings in Academic Framework OR
    • “Does Not Meet Standard” overall ratings in Academic Framework with demonstrated performance improvement over the 2013-14 school year AND
    • Charter School not on probation or formal review at any point during the 2014-15 school year.

    For Charter Schools Opening in the 2015-16 School Year

    • Charter School application approved by the Delaware Department of Education, with assent from the State Board of Education AND
    • Charter School not on probation or formal review at any point during the 2014-15 school year.

    For Charter Schools Opening in the 2016-17 School Year

    • Charter School application approved by the Delaware Department of Education, with assent from the State Board of Education.

    Application Requirements

    • Budget for proposed plan (submitted in DOE template )
      • Include supporting information as necessary
    • Narrative (text only – no more than 2,000 words – approximately 4 pages)
      • Clearly describe how the Performance Fund award would be used
      • Clearly describe how the proposed plan would drive improved student achievement.
      • Clearly describe how the proposed plan advances the charter school’s mission.
      • Clearly describe how the charter school will evaluate the success of the Performance Fund award, including specific goals and metrics.
      • Clearly describe how the Performance Fund award would support plans for start-up or expansion (if applicable)
      • Clearly indicate the % of students who would benefit from the proposed plan who meet the definition of “high need” as defined by 14-275 Del. Code. Regs. § 2.1 (if applicable)
      • Provide evidence that the proposed use of funds will enable the school to improve academic performance for high need students (if applicable)

    Submission Requirements

    • All completed applications shall be submitted to the Department of Education’s Charter School Office via email at infocso@doe.k12.de.us.
    • For ease of reference, and to ensure timely consideration of the applications, please submit all items in pdf format as indicated below:
      • [SchoolInitials]2015PFNarrative.pdf
      • [SchoolInitials]2015PFBudget.pdf
      • [SchoolInitials]2015PFAttachments.pdf (if applicable)

    Review Timeline

    Event Date
    Application Released April 22, 2015
    Informational Webinar May 11, 2015
    Application Due June 12, 2015
    Results Announced July 6, 2015

2015-16 Performance Fund Frequently-Asked Questions

  • How are you defining “high need" for the purpose of the application?

    Posted by: Jennifer

    For the purpose of the application, "high need" is defined by 14-275 Del. Code. Regs. § 2.1:

    "High-Need Students" means students that qualify as low economic status pursuant to Department determination, to include Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners.

    Comments (-1)
  • What types of proposals will get priority for funding?

    Posted by: Jennifer

    Delaware's Charter School Law, 14 Del. Code § 509(m), states that "the Department shall prioritize those applications from applicants that have: (1) Developed high-quality plans for start-up or expansion; or (2) Serve high-need students, as defined by the Department." For this reason, applications that propose to use the funds to support those purposes are eligible to receive additional points, and therefore, higher priority for consideration. 

    Comments (-1)
  • My school is listed as "Eligible without Priority" - should I still apply?

    Posted by: Jennifer

    The Charter School Office welcomes applications from all eligible schools. (See the 2015-16 Performance Fund Eligibility & Priority List for additional information.) However, because of the priority rules in effect for this application cycle, it is very likely that not all schools that submit applications will receive grants. 

    The Performance Fund Application was developed to be a very compact and concise document that did not take a lot of time to complete, but the Charter School Office understands that every hour of time is precious. In making this decision, we urge each school to consider their position on the Eligibility & Priority List against their other commitments. If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Charter School Office. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Can I review the applications submitted last year?

    Posted by:

    Yes! You can find them at 2014-15 Performance Fund Applications.

    Comments (-1)
  • Are there certain types of projects that are more likely to receive awards?

    Posted by: Jennifer

    No. Any projects that address the priority areas will receive higher priority for consideration. However, no one type of project - technology or construction or books or school support programs - will be eligible to receive more points than another type of project or receive any type of preference. As long as the application makes a compelling case for why that proposed project will serve students and meet the goals of the Performance Fund, any type of project is eligible. 

    Comments (-1)

2015-16 Performance Fund Application Documents & Resources