Resources

RESOURCE CENTER

BASIC CHARTER SCHOOL RESOURCES
  • Scholarship and Grant Opportunities

    Scholarship and Grant Opportunities – We will share promising scholarship and grant opportunities to share with your school, teachers, parents and students.

  • Charter School Center

    http://www.charterschoolcenter.org/ – This full and up-to-date website is funded largely by the US Department of Education. On its pages you can find a plethora of free resources, information on grants, links to other great educational websites, and some solid information that will help anyone involved in charter schools gain a better understanding of the processes involved in starting and operating them.

  • Ed Reform

    http://www.edreform.com/ – With a visual design that is as grassroots as the organization whose information it shares, edreform.com presents to-the-minute information on education reform nationwide. This website also offers several free downloads. Among the best is How To Start A Charter School~Cultivating the Seeds of Educational Success which offers very practical tips for starting a charter school.

  • The Media Bullpen

    The Media Bullpen – a brilliantly designed resource by the grassroots team behind edreform.com, The Bullpen’s tag line is “Bringing Accountability to Education Reporting.” This site helps it’s readers discern the accuracy of the various stories presented nationwide in a wide variety of media outlets.

PA CHARTER SCHOOL RESOURCES
  • PA Dept of Education

    Pennsylvania Department of Education charter schools web presence – We can only describe the web presence of the PDE Charter Schools Office as a necessary resource rather than a good one. Still you can find several important documents pertaining to charter schools on the PDE website, the most important being the Commonwealth’s standard charter school application. It is important to note that the standard application is not consistently utilized in all of Pennsylvania’s 501 school districts but it is the model used by nearly all of the districts to which modifications are made.

  • Act 22 of 1997

    Act 22 of 1997 – This is the Pennsylvania charter school law. Important to read and understand before embarking on the creation of a charter school in the Commonwealth, Act 22 if 1997 was written to provide a platform for the creation of charter schools in the Commonwealth and to describe the rights and limitations of all K-12 stakeholders with regards to Pennsylvania charter schools. Virtually everything you need to know about charter schools, including payment, oversight, transportation, and facility requirements is described within.

  • PA Coalition of Public Charter Schools

    Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools – The coalition has been around nearly as long as charter schools have been in Pennsylvania and has aggressively furthered the cause of charter schools in the Commonwealth since their start. Their new website is still in process as of May, 2011, with material still to be posted. We look forward to the site’s updates and encourage our clients involvement with the organization.

  • Charter School Tools

    Charter School Tools – This page of tools for charter schools is not only specific to Pennsylvania charter schools, but to charter schools in general. Consisting entirely of links to:

    • Forms of every kind from the absolutely necessary (IRS forms) to those handy forms you need every once in a -while (Ticket Sale Reconciliation Forms)
    • Instruction and example sheets (meeting minutes template, Flag code)
    • Reports (Charter School Facility Finance Landscape, 2010 Horizon Technology Report)
    • Board governance recommendations and methods

READING LIST
  • Our School

    Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea, and the School That Beat the Odds – This is a terrific account  of two high-school teachers who decide to open a charter school in downtown San Jose. It describes in detail their success in creating a school serving the cities poorest children and preparing them for success college careers despite their schools over crowded facility where classrooms were sometimes separated by a thin sheet, money for materials and computers was sparse to none, and the students were so poorly educated upon their enrollment that the teachers had to find unique ways to solve the problem of presenting a high school curriculum to students that were lacking many of the basic skills.

  • Whatever It Takes

    Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America – Geoffrey Canada has become well known in education circles nationwide as having conceived of and built the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ). Among Canada’s realized ideas was to create an educational system that started before children in his targeted community of Harlem, New York were even born by providing support and education to expectant parents so that they knew how to grow smart children comfortable with language and then providing a lifetime of educational opportunity in neighborhoods that previously had few schools of the quality of those in other New York neighborhoods.

FINANCIAL & FACILITIES RESOURCES
  • Financial Oversight Handbook

    Financial Oversight Handbook for Charter Schools – This free download is the product of the State University of New York Charter Schools Institute. The guide provides budget timelines and worksheets and will help prospective charter school administrators and school trustees know and understand the many financial details specific to operating a charter school.

  • The Answer Key

    The Answer Key: How To Plan, Develop and Finance Your Charter School Facility – Available at Finance by the Annie E. Casey and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations, this very comprehensive guide will help charter founders and operators plan and finance facility upgrades or completely new buildings.