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) has authorized 101 charter schools across Louisiana.  In addition to the state authorizing charter schools, ten 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.  Since 2010, seven local school boards have authorized their charter school and to date there are 10 districts that have authorized charter schools.  Nearly one-third of Louisiana’s 150 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 establish a contract that outlines details of the school’s operation including the length of the school’s contract, the grade levels within the school, and the number of students that will be enrolled at the school.  The authorizer is responsible for overseeing the terms of that contract.

Charter Authorizer Training

On May 10th, the Department will launch an authorizer training series with a kickoff workshop for district staff and local school board members in Baton Rouge. Please visit this site to register.


Local school boards review applications for new Type 1 and Type 3 charter schools, using a common application and timeline created by the Department.

The Department has prepared a number of resources to support districts in running their charter school application processes, which can be found on the right sidebar. 

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


Application Process for Schools Opening as Early as Fall 2018:

  • January 6, 2017 – Districts must post all legally required charter application information to their website

  • February 24, 2017 – Deadline for district charter applicants to submit applications

  • June 1, 2017 – Deadline for local school boards to make approval decisions