Charter Authorization

Charter schools in Louisiana are public schools that benefit from increased autonomy in exchange for increased accountability. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) currently oversees 89 charter schools across Louisiana. In addition, twelve local Louisiana school boards have authorized charter schools to serve their local communities.

The number of local school boards that have chosen to authorize charter schools has risen steadily in recent years. Ten local school boards have authorized their first charter school since 2010. More than one-third of Louisiana’s 146 charter schools now operate under the jurisdiction of a local school board.

Once a charter school is authorized, the authorizing board and the charter school enter into a charter school contract that sets forth the terms under which the charter school will operate and identifies the performance framework that the authorizer will use to hold the charter school accountable. 

Charter Authorizer Training

The Department launched an authorizer training series for district staff with a kickoff workshop on May 10, 2017 that focused on charter authorizer responsibilities. On September 27, 2017 the Department hosted a second workshop that focused on charter school oversight.

Authorizer workshops prepare district staff to oversee prospective charter schools or charter schools they have already authorized.


Local school boards review applications for new Type 1 and Type 3 charter schools, using a common application and timeline created by the Department. BESE approved the 2018 common application and timeline at their December 2017 board meeting. All relevant documents are linked in the right toolbar on this page.

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