Charter Authorization

Charter schools are publicly funded, privately managed and semi-autonomous schools of choice. In exchange for this autonomy, they are held to a high level of accountability by their authorizer.

Charter school authorizing for districts involves the five primary responsibilities listed below. Within each of these areas, the LDOE has created or identified resources for districts to use. This presentation goes into more detail about each of these areas of responsibility and the resources linked below.

1. District Needs Analysis: Understanding the school needs of your district.

2. New School Approval: Approving high quality charter schools to open in your district.

3. Pre-Opening: Guiding charter schools through necessary operational steps before they open.

4. Routine Oversight & Intervention: Gathering information about schools’ performance.

5. High-Stakes Accountability Decisions: Holding schools accountable to the standards set.  


Local school boards review applications for new Type 1 and Type 3 charter schools, using a common application and timeline created by the Department. All relevant documents are linked above in the New School Approval section.

District leaders may address any questions about the district charter school application process to


In 2017, the Department conducted workshops for district authorizers. Linked here are the materials for the first workshop on charter authorizer responsibilities and the second workshop on charter school oversight.