|What organizations may authorize charter schools, and is there a statewide authorizing body?|
|Alabama||Local school boards and the Alabama Charter School Commission may authorize charter schools - provided the school board has applied to be a certified authorizer. The Alabama Charter School Commission may authorize schools in areas where a local school system has not registered as an authorizing authority.|
The Alabama Charter School Commission may act as a statewide authorizing body when an application has been denied by a local school board or when a local school board has chosen not to register as an authorizer.
Citations: Ala. Code § 16-6F-6
|Alaska||Local school boards authorize, with review and approval of the state board of education. |
There is no statewide authorizing body.
Citations: Alaska Stat. Ann. § 14.03.250
|Arizona||The following organizations may authorize charter schools:
Neither the state board for charter schools nor the state board of education may grant a charter to a school district governing board for a new charter school or for the conversion of an existing district public school to a charter school.
The state board for charter schools serves as the statewide authorizing body.
Citations: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-183
|Arkansas||The department of education and the state board of education can authorize charters. A local district supporting a public school conversion within its boundaries needs to approve such a conversion, but final approval is required from the authorizer.|
The state department of education is a statewide authorizing body, with jurisdiction and authority over all public charters. It is authorized to approve, reject, renew, not renew, modify, revoke, place on probation, or deny on a proposed or existing charter.
The commissioner is authorized to appoint a charter schools authorizing panel that may consist of people from outside the department as well as professional staff.
Citations: Ark. Code Ann. § 6-23-103; Ark. Code Ann. § 6-23-302; Ark. Code Ann. § 6-23-701
|California||A local school board, county board of education, and the state board of education may approve charter schools.|
Local school boards have all the monitoring and supervisory authority of a chartering agency except for revocation (only the state board has that authority).
The state board of education may approve a charter school operating in multiple sites throughout the state if the charter will provide instructional services of statewide benefit. County offices of education and the state board of education hear appeals.
The state board of education serves as a statewide authorizing body.
Citations: Cal. Educ. Code § 47605
|Colorado||A charter school applicant may submit an application to a school district or, if the school district in which the charter school is to be located has not retained exclusive authority to authorize charter schools from the state board of education, to the state charter school institute.|
The state charter school institute serves as a statewide authorizing body and may authorize charter schools in districts that do not have exclusive chartering authority.
Citations: Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22-30.5-107; Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22-30.5-510; Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22-30.5-504
|Connecticut||A local charter school, which is a public school or part of a public school that is converted into a charter school, must be approved by the local or regional board of education and then by the state board of education. A state charter school, which is a new public school, must be approved by the state board of education. The state board reviews and grants initial certificates of approval for any local or state charter school located in a town that has one or more schools that have been designated as a commissioner's network school, or a town that has been designated as a low achieving school district. |
The state board of education is the statewide authorizing body for all new charter schools in the state.
Citations: Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 10-66bb
|Delaware||Local school boards may approve either conversion or start-up charter schools within district boundaries.|
The state department of education may approve start-up charter schools, but must receive approval from the secretary of education and the state board. In addition, for a charter school applicant seeking to locate in the City of Wilmington, the mayor and the city council may review and provide comment regarding the likely impact of the proposed charter school on students in the city.
Authorizers must hold public hearings on a charter school application.
The state department of education could be considered a statewide authorizer, although it does not consider appeals.
Citations: Del. Code Ann. tit. 14, § 511; Del. Code Ann. tit. 14, § 512
|District of Columbia||The board of education or the Public Charter School Board may authorize charter schools. The law also allows the D.C. Council to designate other entities as authorizers by legislation. The public charter school board appears to serve as a statewide (district-wide) authorizing body.|
Citations: D.C. Code § 38-1800.02; D.C. Code § 38-1802.11; D.C. Code § 38-1802.14
A district school board may sponsor a charter school in the county over which the district school board has jurisdiction. A state university may grant a charter to a lab school.
There does not appear to be a statewide authorizing body.
Citations: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.33
|Georgia||The following organizations may authorize charter schools:
The state charter schools commission serves as a state-level authorizing entity working in collaboration with the department of education under the authority of the state board.
The state charter schools commission may charter a state charter school that meets one of the following:
The state charter schools commission may approve or deny petitions for state charter schools and renew, nonrenew, or terminate state charter school petitions. The state board reviews and may overrule the commission, however.
Citations: Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2062; Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2064; Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2064.1; Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2082; Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2083; Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2084
|Hawaii||The state public charter school commission is the statewide authorizer. The following organizations may apply to the board for chartering authority:
Citations: Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 302D-3; Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 302D-4; Haw. Rev. Stat. § 302D-5
|Idaho||The following may authorize charter schools:
Only local school boards may approve conversion charter schools located in their district.
The public charter school commission is a statewide authorizing body and monitors charter school operations.
Citations: Idaho Code Ann. § 33-5202A; Idaho Code Ann. § 33-5205
|Illinois||Applications may be authorized by local school boards or the state charter school commission. |
In the case of a referendum-based charter petition, before circulating a petition to submit the question to voters, the proposal must be submitted to the state charter school commission to verify that it complies with state charter school law.
The state charter school commission is an independent statewide authoring body with statewide chartering jurisdiction and authority. The commission is the chartering entity for charter schools that are initiated from a ballot measure approved by local residents, and for schools approved by the commission on appeal. Any charter school may seek a transfer of authorization from the local school board to the commission with approval from the local school board.
Citations: 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 5/27A-7.5; 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 5/27A-7
|Indiana||Potential authorizers include:
To be approved as an authorizer, potential authorizers register with the state board. A local school board may register for charter authority within its attendance area. A governing board of a nonprofit college or university may apply for statewide, regional or local chartering authority.
To register as an authorizer, each interested governing body must submit the following information in a format prescribed by the state board:
Within 30 days of the state board's decision to grant authorizing authority, it must execute a renewable authorizing contract for an initial term of 6 years. The authorizing contract must specify the approved applicant's agreement to serve as a charter authorizer in accordance with state law and must specify additional performance terms based on the applicant's proposal and plan for chartering.
The Indiana charter school board is a statewide authorizing body.
Citations: Ind. Code Ann. § 20-24-1-2.5; Ind. Code Ann. § 20-24-2.2-1.2
|Iowa||Both a local school board and the state board of education must approve a charter application. (Once a local board has approved, it submits the application to the state board.) Innovation zone applications are submitted for approval to the state board.|
There is no statewide authorizing body.
Citations: Iowa Code Ann. § 256F.3
|Kansas||A local school board and the state board of education is each required to approve a charter application.|
There is no statewide authorizing body named as such, except that the state board does approve any virtual schools established under the Virtual Schools Act, gives final approval to public innovative districts and to charters initially approved by local boards.
Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1906 Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-3711
|Kentucky||Authorizers may include:
Applications are required to be submitted simultaneously to an authorizer and to the state board.
There is no statewide authorizing body. However, after an authorizer approves an application, it is required to submit it to the department for approval by the commissioner of education.
Citations: Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 160.1590; Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 160.1593; Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 160.1594
|Louisiana||“Chartering authority” is defined as either a local school board or the state board.|
The state board is authorized to function as a statewide authorizing body.
Citations: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:3973; La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:3981
|Maine||Local school boards (if creating a charter school within the school district's boundaries), the state charter school commission, or a collaborative formed among school boards to set up a regional charter school, but only if the authorizer has issued a request for proposals.|
The charter school commission serves as a statewide authorizing body and the sole authorizer for virtual charter schools.
Citations: Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. 20-A § 2405
|Maryland||County school boards are the primary authorizers. The state board of education is the chartering authority for some restructured schools or schools approved on appeal.|
The state board of education serves as a statewide authorizing body in that it acts as an authorizer for some restructured charter schools and, in some cases, for charter schools approved on an appeal.
Citations: Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 9-103
|Massachusetts||The state board of education authorizes commonwealth charter schools and Horace Mann charter schools. However, Horace Mann charters must also be approved by the district board of education and the local collective bargaining unit in the district where the school is located. A conversion Horace Mann charter school does not require approval of the collective bargaining unit, but is required to have a memorandum of understanding regarding any waivers to the collective bargaining agreement in the district.|
The state board is a statewide authorizing body. It authorizes all charter schools, although applications must also be filed with local school districts and in some instances, receive approval from local school boards and local collective bargaining units.
Citations: Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 71 § 89
|Michigan||Local school boards, intermediate school boards, community colleges or state public universities, or two or more of local education agencies operating under an interlocal agreement may authorize public school academies.|
A statewide authorizing body is defined as the governing board of a state public university or the board of a federal tribally controlled community college that is recognized under the tribally controlled colleges and universities assistance act and meets the requirements for accreditation by a recognized regional accrediting body. The University authorizers have the ability to issue charters anywhere in the state.
Citations: Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 380.501; Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 380.502; Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 380.552
|Minnesota||Authorizers must apply to and be approved by the Commissioner of Education. The following organizations may authorize charter schools: local school boards; intermediate school boards; educational district cooperatives; non-sectarian nonprofit organizations (including those formed solely to authorize charter schools); public postsecondary institutions; and private colleges. Charter schools that are authorized by a school board may be located in any school district unless the school board of the school district in which the proposed school would be located submits a written resolution disapproving of the location.|
There is no statewide authorizing body, but charter operators must file an affidavit with the Commissioner of Education during the application process and the affidavit must be approved by the Comissioner prior to final approval.
Citations: Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124E.05, § 124E.06
|Mississippi||The Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board is the state's sole authorizer and a statewide authorizing body. The Board may only authorize charter schools in school districts with a C rating or lower if a majority of the local school board votes at a public meeting to endorse the application or if the school board initiates the application. |
Citations: Miss. Code Ann. § 37-28-5, § 37-28-7
|Missouri||The following entities may sponsor charter schools:
The Missouri Charter Public School Commission has authority to sponsor charter schools statewide. In addition, all approved charter school applications must be submitted to the state board of education, which may approve or deny charter applications.
Any applicant seeking to establish a charter school with an authorizer that is not a school district must submit a copy of the application to the school board of the school district in which the school is to be located and to the state board of the education. The local school board may file objections with the proposed authorizer and, if the charter is granted, the state board of education. Approved charter applications are submitted to the state board of education, along with statements by the authorizer that the charter complies with various provisions. The state board must approve or deny the charter application.
Citations: Mo. Ann. Stat. § 160.400; Mo. Ann. Stat. § 160.405; Mo. Ann. Stat. § 160.425; Mo. Ann. Stat. § 167.349
|Nevada||The State Public Charter School Authority can sponsor schools statewide. The following organizations may authorize charter schools after apply to and receiving approval from the department of education:
Before any authorizer begins soliciting charter school applications, the authorizer and the department of education, to the extent practicable, must must conduct an evaluation of the academic needs of the students in the geographic area served by the sponsor. Authorizers must assemble a team of reviewers to evaluate the application.
Citations: Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 388A.220; Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 388A.249
|New Hampshire||There are two application options for charter schools. In both cases, the state board of education serves as a statewide authorizing body.
Citations: N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 194-B:3, N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 194-B:3-a, N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 194-B:16, N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 194-B:17
|New Jersey||The commissioner of education authorizes charter schools and is the statewide authorizer. Charter school applications may be submitted to the state commissioner of education and local school board of the district in which the school will be located. For school districts under state intervention, applications are submitted to the state district superintendent. The local board school boards or state district superintendent review applications, but commissioner of education alone has final authority to approve or reject a charter school application.|
Citations: N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:36A-3, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:36A-4
|New Mexico||Both local school boards and the public education commission authorize charter schools; the public education commission serves as a statewide authorizer. If the authorizer does not rule on an application within a certain time frame, the application will automatically be reviewed by the secretary of education. |
A local school board has the authority to approve the establishment of a locally chartered charter school within that local school board's district. In addition, the authorizer must hold at least one public hearing in the school districts in which the charter school is proposed to be located to obtain community input in the decision.
Charter School Districts: The department of education oversees school districts that have been turned into charter school districts. The department must disprove initial or renewal applications if it determines, after a hearing, that the application is not in the best interest of the students, school district, or community.
Citations: N.M. Stat. Ann. § 22-8B-6, N.M. Stat. Ann. § 22-8B-16, N.M. Stat. Ann. § 22-8E-3
|New York||While a "charter entity" may approve charter school applications and provide oversight and supervision for charter schools, the state board of regents is the the only entity that may to issue charters. After approving an application, charter entities (other than the board of regents) and applicants enter into a proposed agreement, which is then submitted to the board of regents for final approval. Charter schools may apply to another charter entity for oversight and supervision at any time.|
Charter entities include: 1) local school boards (only for charter schools within the school district); 2) the State University of New York board of trustees; 3) the state board of regents; and 4) and the district chancellor for an urban school district in a city with a population over 1 million.
At each significant stage of the chartering process, the charter entity and board of regents must provide notification to the school district in which the charter school would be located and to public and private schools in the same geographic area as the proposed charter school. Prior to issuing, revising, or renewing a charter school, the school district must hold a public hearing within the community potentially impacted by the proposed charter school and seek input from the community.
Citations: N.Y. Educ. Law § 2851, N.Y. Educ. Law § 2852, N.Y. Educ. Law § 2853
|North Carolina||The state board of education is the state's only authorizer and authorizes charter schools statewide. The North Carolina charter school advisory board makes recommendations on the adoption of rules regarding all aspects of charter school operation; reviews applications and makes recommendations to the state board; makes recommendations to the state board on actions regarding a charter school, including renewals, nonrenewals and revocations; and takes on any other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the state board.|
Citations: N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-218, N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-218.5
|Ohio||New charter school applicants can apply to the department of education, which serves as the statewide authorizing body, or any sponsor approved by the department of education. Authorizers must apply to and receive approval from the department of education prior to authorizing any charter schools. The department of education is responsible for approval of entities seeking to sponsor schools and oversight of any and all sponsors. Conversion charter school applicants may only apply to local school boards or boards of education service centers. |
Approved authorizers may include: local board of the school district in which the school is to be located; a board of a vocational district (with some geographic restrictions); other local school district governing boards if they have territory in the same county of the school district in which the proposed school would be located; educational service centers; the board of trustees of state universities or their designated sponsoring authorities; a qualified tax-exempt entity that meets other requirements; or the mayor of a city in which the district is located. Any sponsor requesting to form a new charter school in the Cleveland Transformation Alliance must be reviewed by and receive a recommendation from the alliance.
New (or "start-up") charter schools are only allowed in "challenged school districts," or districts meeting certain criteria, including low performance.
Sponsors with an overall rating of "exemplary" for at least two consecutive years and who maintain that rating are not subject to the 100-school sponsorship limit, while other sponsors are subject the limit.
Citations: Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3311.86, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3314.015, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3314.02, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3314.029
|Oklahoma||The following organizations may authorize charter schools:
Both the state board of education and the statewide virtual charter school board serve as statewide authorizing bodies, but only in specific circumstances.
Citations: Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 3-132; Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 3-134; Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 145.1
|Oregon||Local school boards authorize charter schools. Charter applicants must submit a copy of charter school applications to the state board of education. The state board of education may authorize charter schools statewide on appeal. An institution of higher education may sponsor charter schools, but each institution may only sponsor one charter school under specific conditions.|
Citations: Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 338.005; Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 338.035; Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 338.045; Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 338.065; Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 338.075
|Pennsylvania||Local school boards can authorize charter schools. In addition, two or more local school boards may grant regional charters. Virtual charter applicants apply to the department of education, which authorizes virtual charter schools statewide.|
Citations: 24 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 17-1717-A; 24 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 17-1718-A; 24 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 17-1745-A
|Rhode Island||The state board of education is the state's sole, statewide authorizer. Applications must first be approved by the local school board or commissioner of education where the school will be located or the state commissioner of education, depending on the type of charter school, who then make recommendations to the state board on whether the application should be approved. Prior to submitting the applications to the state board, the local school boards or commissioners and the state commissioner must hold public hearings in the school districts in which the proposed charter schools would be located. Starting in 2016, new network charter schools - defined has having more than one school - must provide local written support. |
District charter schools: Charter applicants submit applications to the school district commissioner and school committee of the school district where the charter school will be located. The charter must receive the affirmative support of a number of certified school district teachers equal to at least two-thirds of the number of teachers that will be employed by the charter school. A copy of the proposed charter must also be provided to the teachers' collective bargaining unit in the school district where the school is to be located.
Independent charter schools: Charter applicants submit applications to the state commissioner of education. Nonprofits applicants must also submit financial records and a financial plan to the auditor general. When considering applications for an independent charter school, the state board must place substantial weight on the potential fiscal impact on the city or town, the programmatic impact on the sending school district, and the educational impact on the students in the district.
Mayoral academies: Charter applicants submit applications to the state commissioner of education and must provide written support from the town or city councils.
Citations: R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.2-2; R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.2-3; R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.3-2; R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77-3.3; R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.4-2; R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.4-3
|South Carolina||Sponsors may be local school boards or district boards of trustees, and registered independent institutions of higher education. The South Carolina Public Charter School District Board of Trustees may authorize charter schools statewide. Before submitting the formal application, applicants must first submit a letter of intent to the local board of trustees or area commission and send a copy to the state department of education. |
Citations: S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-40; S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-55; S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-70; S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-230
|Tennessee||Prospective charter schools may apply to local school boards and the achievement school district. The state board of education authorizes schools statewide in the following circumstances: for local education agencies seeking to establish a charter school, and on appeal if school is to be located in a school district that has at least one school on the current or last priority school list. |
Citations: Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-13-104; Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-13-106; Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-13-108; Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-13-141
Citations: Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 12.052; Tex. Educ. Code Ann. §12.0521; Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 12.101; Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 12.1011; Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 12.152; Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 12.021; Tex. Educ. Code Ann. §12.014; Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 110
|Utah||The state charter school board, a local school board, or the board of trustees of a higher education institution may authorize charter schools. The state charter school board is the statewide authorizer.|
State charter school board: An applicant seeking authorization from the state charter school board must provide a copy of the application to the local school board of the school district in which the proposed charter school would be located when it files its application with the state charter school board. The local board may review the application and may offer suggestions or recommendations to the applicant or to the state charter school board prior to its acting on the application. The state charter school board is required to give due consideration to suggestions or recommendations made by the local school board.
Higher education institutions: Applicants must provide a copy of the application to the state charter school board and the local school board of the district in which the school would be located. Both the state charter school board and the local school board may review the application and provide recommendations to the applicant or board of trustees of the higher education institution. The board of trustees must give due consideration to suggestions or recommendations from the local school board or state charter school board.
Citations: Utah Code Ann. § 53A-1a-501.3; Utah Code Ann. § 53A-1a-505; Utah Code Ann. § 53A-1a-501.6; Utah Code Ann. § 53A-1a-521
|Virginia||Local school boards approve charter schools but applications must also be submitted to the state board of education for review and recommendation. The board must make a determination on where the application meets approval criteria developed by the board. Local school boards must receive public comment on charter school applications. |
Citations: Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-212.9; Va. Code Ann. § 221-212.10
|Washington||The Washington state charter school commission - which can authorize charter schools statewide - and local school boards, but only after approval of the state board of education and only for schools in located within district boundaries. Authorizers must conduct a public forum to obtain input on the application from community members, parents, and local school district staff.|
Citations: Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.070; Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.080; Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.090
All of the following entities may authorize charter schools:
Citations: Wis. Stat. Ann. § 118.40
|Wyoming||Local school boards authorize charter schools. There is no statewide authorizer. |
Citations: Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-3-305; Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-3-306; Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-3-308