emerging charter RFP

To download the full RFP, click here

THE NEED

We know that learning in a high-quality school can change the trajectory of a child’s life, and we believe every child deserves an excellent public school that prepares them for the opportunity to live a choice-filled life.

The Impacts of a High-Quality School on its students and their families:

  • Students are more likely to read on grade level.
  • The average ACT score exceeds the national average.
  • More than half of students enroll in a postsecondary institution.
  • Students are twice as likely to complete a postsecondary degree.

It’s no surprise that given this, a majority of parents believe only an A or B school, as rated by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), is acceptable for their child.

It is unacceptable, however, that today less than 50% of Houston students attend an A or B school.

The time to attack this problem is now.

Good Reason Houston has set an ambitious goal – we will work alongside the community to ensure 60,000 more students are learning in A or B schools by 2025.

 

THE OPPORTUNITY

Good Reason Houston believes Houston needs more great public schools now – both traditional public school districts as well as public charter schools and networks – all working together to grow more high-quality public schools for students. 

As part of our comprehensive approach, we aim to accelerate the growth of emerging high-quality charter schools to increase the number of students learning in A or B rated schools.

Are you a high-quality public charter school that faces a facility challenge? Could you expand to another campus if you had a great leader to run your current school? Do you need a new pro forma to help drive what your growth plan should look like? We may be able to provide funding to help solve your growth challenge.

Good Reason Houston seeks emerging public charter schools or networks (currently 1-3 campuses) in the Houston area that want to grow but need support from external experts in order to expand their reach.

WHAT WE VALUE

Good Reason Houston champions a bold, community-wide vision. We accelerate progress within districts and promote courageous decision-making to change the trajectory of school performance. We value organizations that are fiercely committed to this work and share our core beliefs.

INVESTMENT RANGE

Selected grant recipients will be eligible for $10,000-$25,000. These funds will support the identification of challenges that impact the ability to grow, and ultimately enable the development of strategies and plans to increase the number of students learning in high-quality schools.

All funds will be restricted to growth initiatives serving students in the Houston area.

DESIRED ACTIVITIES AND OUTCOMES

Good Reason Houston will provide technical assistance funding to emerging public charter schools or networks (currently 1-3 campuses) in order to spark, accelerate, and strategically plan for the purpose of growth. 

By the end of the grant period, the emerging public charter school or network will identify solution(s) to their growth challenge. 

Emerging charters that have identified a growth challenge and are able to develop a sustainable growth plan – inclusive of growth projections (student seats), projected cost for growth, and possible funding strategies – may be eligible for additional growth funding beyond this initial investment for technical assistance.

Good Reason Houston’s support is intended to accelerate high-quality charter school growth, thus all funding is provided with the goal of increasing the number of high-quality seats available to Houston students.

ELIGIBILITY

In order to qualify for technical assistance funding, a campus must meet the following eligibility criteria: 

  • Campus or network must currently operate a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 campuses (in total regardless of geography). 
  • Campus or network must have an interest in increasing the number of students served in the Houston-area — either through additional grade-levels on a campus or through plans to open an additional campus. 
  • The Houston-area includes public schools that fall within the boundaries of the following Independent School Districts: Aldine, Alief, Channelview, Galena Park, Houston, Pasadena, Sheldon, Spring Branch, Spring. For a map of boundaries, click here
  • Campus or network must have a proven track record of delivering high-quality instruction and high student performance.

Schools that are currently growing to their initially intended full scale are not eligible (i.e., an elementary school campus planned for K-5, but are currently at K-3 and growing a grade level per year until full scale is achieved).

SUSTAINABILITY

All prospective grantees acknowledge that, if selected, the receipt of this grant does not imply a commitment on behalf of Good Reason Houston to continue funding beyond the terms listed in a grant agreement. That said, grantees may be eligible to apply for future grants to support year 0-1 of their growth plans. 

Good Reason Houston prioritizes sustainable investments. Emerging charters should have a vision for how they may fund growth by the end of this technical assistance grant. 

DEFINITIONS

Technical Assistance – Comprehensive technical assistance can include, but is not limited to: site identification, facility/project planning, feasibility analysis, project oversight, financial planning and analysis, approach to student recruitment, human capital strategy, and operations launch support.

Emerging Charter – Defined as a school or network with at least one campus and no more than three existing campuses.

High-Quality Schools – Historically, Good Reason Houston has defined “high-quality” as schools rated an A or B by the Texas Education Agency. Given the recent pause on TEA ratings, Good Reason Houston would like to understand how schools and networks are leveraging internal assessments to measure student achievement and growth. 

Growth plan – A plan that goes beyond an existing footprint to increase the number of students served within a campus or network of campuses. Possible examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • a middle school model that hopes to expand into elementary and/or high school; 
  • a high-quality school that would like to replicate in a new neighborhood. 

Schools that are currently growing to their initially intended full scale are not eligible (i.e., an elementary school campus planned for K-5, but are currently at K-3 and growing a grade level per year until full scale is achieved).

TIMELINE

The application timeline for this technical assistance grant is split into three phases. Priority consideration will be given to Phase 1 applicants. Phase 2 and 3 applicants will be considered based on remaining funding availability.

 

Phase 1: Priority Consideration (March 8, 2021- March 31, 2021)

  • Any funding request submitted by an eligible applicant will be reviewed. The date of submission does not impact decision-making within the Phase 1 window. 
  • Applicants will receive one of three notifications by April 16th: 1) approval, 2) waitlisted for Phase 2 consideration, or 3) denied.

Notification Date: April 16, 2021
Funding will be made available as early as April 23, 2021 pending grant document finalization and payment scheduling. 

 

Phase 2: Second Round Consideration (April 1, 2021 – April 30, 2021)

  • After all applications in Phase 1 have been processed, additional eligible applicants will be considered based on remaining funds available.  

Notification Date: May 17, 2021
Funding will be made available as early as May 24, 2021 pending grant document finalization and payment scheduling.

 

Phase 3: Final Round Considerations (May 1, 2021 – May 28, 2021)

  • After all applications in Phase 1 and Phase 2 have been processed, additional eligible applicants will be considered based on remaining funds available.  

Notification Date: June 14, 2021
Funding will be made available as early as June 21, 2021 pending grant document finalization and payment scheduling.