Florida is home to the original Charter Support Unit. The CSU started in 2012 as an objective of the state’s 2011-16 Charter Schools Program (CSP) grant with the United States Department of Education. The state proposed establishing a “Charter Support Unit” for the purpose of providing short-term, intensive, and targeted support for start-up and new charter schools. The CSU was to be staffed by experienced educational professionals with expertise in curriculum, instruction, finance, governance and leadership. Accordingly, the mission of the CSU became to provide support to charter schools in the first few years of operation and to be available on short notice to conduct site-assessments and provide recommendations for charter school improvement efforts.
The State of Florida contracted with Building Hope, a not-for-profit agency dedicated to the success of Florida’s charter schools, to operate the CSU on its behalf. After the grant funding for the program ended in 2016, Building Hope continued to provide the CSU as a free service to schools throughout Florida. In 2018 the Florida State Legislature acknowledged the importance of this service by including funding for the program as part of the state’s education budget.