Part B - Public Charter Schools. Administration.
(a) Selection criteria for State educational agencies
The Secretary shall award grants to State educational agencies under this subpart on the basis of the quality of the applications submitted under section 7221b(b) of this title, after taking into consideration such factors as -
(1) the contribution that the charter schools grant program will make to assisting educationally disadvantaged and other students in meeting State academic content standards and State student academic achievement standards;
(2) the degree of flexibility afforded by the State educational agency to charter schools under the State's charter schools law;
(3) the ambitiousness of the objectives for the State charter school grant program;
(4) the quality of the strategy for assessing achievement of those objectives;
(5) the likelihood that the charter school grant program will meet those objectives and improve educational results for students;
(6) the number of high-quality charter schools created under this subpart in the State; and
(7) in the case of State educational agencies that propose to use grant funds to support dissemination activities under subsection (f)(6)(B) of this section, the quality of those activities and the likelihood that those activities will improve student academic achievement.
(b) Selection criteria for eligible applicants
The Secretary shall award grants to eligible applicants under this subpart on the basis of the quality of the applications submitted under section 7221b(c) of this title, after taking into consideration such factors as -
(1) the quality of the proposed curriculum and instructional practices;
(2) the degree of flexibility afforded by the State educational agency and, if applicable, the local educational agency to the charter school;
(3) the extent of community support for the application;
(4) the ambitiousness of the objectives for the charter school;
(5) the quality of the strategy for assessing achievement of those objectives;
(6) the likelihood that the charter school will meet those objectives and improve educational results for students; and
(7) in the case of an eligible applicant that proposes to use grant funds to support dissemination activities under subsection
(f)(6)(B) of this section, the quality of those activities and the likelihood that those activities will improve student achievement.
(c) Peer review
The Secretary, and each State educational agency receiving a grant under this subpart, shall use a peer review process to review applications for assistance under this subpart.
(d) Diversity of projects
The Secretary and each State educational agency receiving a grant under this subpart, shall award grants and subgrants under this subpart in a manner that, to the extent possible, ensures that such grants and subgrants -
(1) are distributed throughout different areas of the Nation and each State, including urban and rural areas; and
(2) will assist charter schools representing a variety of educational approaches, such as approaches designed to reduce school size.
The Secretary may waive any statutory or regulatory requirement over which the Secretary exercises administrative authority except any such requirement relating to the elements of a charter school described in section 7221i(1) of this title, if -
(1) the waiver is requested in an approved application under this subpart; and
(2) the Secretary determines that granting such a waiver will promote the purpose of this subpart.
(f) Use of funds
(1) State educational agencies
Each State educational agency receiving a grant under this subpart shall use such grant funds to award subgrants to one or more eligible applicants in the State to enable such applicant to plan and implement a charter school in accordance with this subpart, except that the State educational agency may reserve not more than 10 percent of the grant funds to support dissemination activities described in paragraph (6).
(2) Eligible applicants
Each eligible applicant receiving funds from the Secretary or a State educational agency shall use such funds to plan and implement a charter school, or to disseminate information about the charter school and successful practices in the charter school, in accordance with this subpart.
(3) Allowable activities
An eligible applicant receiving a grant or subgrant under this subpart may use the grant or subgrant funds only for -
(A) post-award planning and design of the educational program, which may include -
(i) refinement of the desired educational results and of the methods for measuring progress toward achieving those results; and
(ii) professional development of teachers and other staff who will work in the charter school; and
(B) initial implementation of the charter school, which may include -
(i) informing the community about the school;
(ii) acquiring necessary equipment and educational materials and supplies;
(iii) acquiring or developing curriculum materials; and
(iv) other initial operational costs that cannot be met from State or local sources.
(4) Administrative expenses
(A) State educational agency administrative expenses
Each State educational agency receiving a grant pursuant to this subpart may reserve not more than 5 percent of such grant funds for administrative expenses associated with the charter school grant program assisted under this subpart.
(B) Local administrative expenses
A local educational agency may not deduct funds for administrative fees or expenses from a subgrant awarded to an eligible applicant, unless the eligible applicant enters voluntarily into a mutually agreed upon arrangement for administrative services with the relevant local educational agency. Absent such approval, the local educational agency shall distribute all such subgrant funds to the eligible applicant without delay.
(5) Revolving loan funds
Each State educational agency receiving a grant pursuant to this subpart may reserve not more than 10 percent of the grant funds for the establishment of a revolving loan fund. Such fund may be used to make loans to eligible applicants that have received a subgrant under this subpart, under such terms as may be determined by the State educational agency, for the initial operation of the charter school grant program of the eligible applicant until such time as the recipient begins receiving ongoing operational support from State or local financing sources.
(A) In general
A charter school may apply for funds under this subpart, whether or not the charter school has applied for or received funds under this subpart for planning, program design, or implementation, to carry out the activities described in subparagraph (B) if the charter school has been in operation for at least 3 consecutive years and has demonstrated overall success, including -
(i) substantial progress in improving student academic achievement;
(ii) high levels of parent satisfaction; and
(iii) the management and leadership necessary to overcome initial start-up problems and establish a thriving, financially viable charter school.
A charter school described in subparagraph (A) may use funds reserved under paragraph (1) to assist other schools in adapting the charter school's program (or certain aspects of the charter school's program), or to disseminate information about the charter school, through such activities as -
(i) assisting other individuals with the planning and start-up of one or more new public schools, including charter schools, that are independent of the assisting charter school and the assisting charter school's developers, and that agree to be held to at least as high a level of accountability as the assisting charter school;
(ii) developing partnerships with other public schools, including charter schools, designed to improve student academic achievement in each of the schools participating in the partnership;
(iii) developing curriculum materials, assessments, and other materials that promote increased student achievement and are based on successful practices within the assisting charter school; and
(iv) conducting evaluations and developing materials that document the successful practices of the assisting charter school and that are designed to improve student performance in other schools.
(g) Tribally controlled schools
Each State that receives a grant under this subpart and designates a tribally controlled school as a charter school shall not consider payments to a school under the Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988 [25 USC 2501 et seq.] in determining -
(1) the eligibility of the school to receive any other Federal, State, or local aid; or
(2) the amount of such aid.
(Pub. L. 89-10, title V, Sec. 5204, as added Pub. L. 107-110, title V, Sec. 501, Jan. 8, 2002, 115 Stat. 1792.)