Grant Opportunities

March 5, 2014: MDE Planning/Design & Implementation Grant

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has been awarded funds through the federal Charter School Planning (CSP) grant for the purposes of broadening and strengthening the pool of charter applicants available to Michigan authorizers, and supporting those charter applicants that succeed in obtaining a charter as they launch the schools they planned. MDE expects most applicants to use the Charter School Planning Grant up to the full 18 months authorized to plan for 2014 or 2015 school openings. 

Interested applicants should complete the Planning Grant Application Checklist prior to the application submission due date.

There will not be a separate application for the purposes of replication and/or expansion. MDE will not provide subgrants to PSA's that have already received one.

Eligible applicants must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • The applicant must have a letter from a Michigan authorizer indicating that the applicant has received initial approval to receive a charter from that authorizing entity.    A signed copy of the letter must be included with the application narrative when it is submitted.
  • The applicant must have submitted a copy of a complete and statutorily compliant charter contract for review and processing at MDE, or already have been issued a district code by MDE. Successful applicants must be prepared to provide MDE with signed copies of all vendor agreements exceeding $10,000 in value (i.e., lease, management, purchase, mortgage, etc.)

Planning/Design and Implementation subgrants may be awarded for a total period of up to three years (36 months), with no more than 18 months used for planning with funds up to $100,000, and no more than two years (24 months) used for initial implementation of the new school.  Subject to availability, and school size, funding available for implementation may equal $200,000 for each year.  It should be noted that a subgrantee that opts for 18 months of planning time will receive only 18 rather than normal 24 months of implementation time.  The applicant should propose a customized schedule that fits its unique situation, while ensuring that no more than 36 months total are used. 

**Funds from this grant may only be drawn down on a reimbursement basis.

To download a copy of the grant application, narrative as well as management plan, visit MDE's PSA Unit's website. You may also contact the PSA Unit with any questions at 517-373-4631 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Walton Family Foundation Start Up Grant

Applicant groups who are planning a charter school in or near the city of Detroit may be eligible for startup grants from the Walton Family Foundation (WFF). Eligible groups will meet these criteria:

  • Demonstrate strong potential for delivering excellent academic results for K-12 students, as measured by standardized achievement tests;
  • Serve significant low-income student populations (greater than 50%);
  • Not represent a for-profit entity;
  • Have an endorsement from the state-based grant partner (MAPSA and/or Walton);
  • And, draw a majority of its students from Detroit Public Schools (greater than 50%).

 "New" schools are eligible for the startup grant through their first year of operation. However, in addition, eligible entities include the following:

  • Schools waiting for authorization as a charter;
  • Newly authorized charters;
  • Schools opening a new, additional campus under an existing charter; or
  • In rare cases, existing schools that are expanding to serve new students with a new program and its own school leader on the same campus.

As Michigan's grant partner to the Walton Family Foundation, MAPSA ensures that applicants are prepared and eligible before accessing any application materials. MAPSA will request that all interested groups fill out documentation to assist MAPSA in making a formal recommendation for eligibility purposes. If MAPSA provides you with a referral, access to the application will be provided to you via email.

The spring round has currently begun and no additional application requests can be received at this time. Fall dates will be announced shortly.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 517.374.9167. For information, visit the Walton Family Foundation's website.


The National Charter School Resource Center

The National Charter School Resource Center (Charter School Center) serves as a national center to provide on-demand resources, information, and technical assistance to support successful planning, authorizing, implementation, and sustainability of high-quality charter schools; to share evaluations on the effects of charter schools; and to disseminate information about successful practices in charter schools.

To view a list of upcoming grants, click HERE.


 Don't Forget... 

Looking for grants to start a charter school? Click here.