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Are grantees complying with charter school program regulations?

Monitoring compliance with regulations to improve access to funding for charter school facilities

Challenge

Charter schools have difficulty getting long-term financing to lease, renovate, or build facilities. A number of factors contribute to their funding challenge, including a lack of access to local tax dollars and the short-term duration of their charters.

To improve charter schools’ access to loans to improve their facilities, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) created the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program. The program gives grants to state or local government programs, nonprofit groups, or a consortium of groups to help charter schools get loans.

For ED, Westat is monitoring the 22 grantees to ensure that they are complying with program regulations.

Solution

Each year, Westat staff will

  • Conduct quarterly calls to check on current activities and any changes in grantee staff
  • Visit each grantee once over the duration of the project
  • Interview key staff about program operations
  • Visit 1-2 schools that benefited from the program

By providing information about each grantee and assessing how well grantees are meeting the objectives of the program, ED can improve the operations and efficiency of the program.

Results

Our findings will

  • Enable ED to see how well grantees are complying with program rules, regulations, and guidance, and to prevent or stop compliance violations
  • Allow grantees to ask questions and share current project information
  • Ensure the continued support and possible expansion of successful programs

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