Charter Applications and Renewals
Writing a charter application has been compared to writing a doctoral dissertation. It is not an easy task. Groups wishing to open a charter school must write an extensive and comprehensive plan that includes the specifics of the educational program; meeting the needs of special education students; establishing a positive school climate and culture; recruiting and retaining faculty and staff; conducting effective governance practices; ensuring students’ safety and security; and implementing sound financial and business practices.
There are very few resources available to help start-up groups understand the process and requirements of writing a charter application, and how these applications are reviewed can often vary significantly. As part of our initial research studies, FCI will review charter applications and their evaluations from the last five years to identify the most common strengths and weaknesses mentioned within the reviews. We will then develop resources to assist both the charter applicants in developing comprehensive plans and the authorizers in reviewing them.
In addition, we will examine the charter renewal process. Currently, Florida statute does not have specific renewal requirements, and each authorizer must develop their own procedures. We will collect and analyze these processes and compare them to other top authorizers from around the country to develop recommendations and resources to assist with renewals.
If you would like more information on how to write a charter application, we suggest reviewing a free online course made available by the Charter Support Unit titled “Charter Application Training.” This course, recorded in 2020, was designed to help individuals who are interested in writing and submitting a charter application in the state of Florida. It reviews each section of the charter application, highlighting key considerations to focus on while writing your application. To access the course, visit https://csu.li/appcourse. While it will require you to create an account, there is no charge for this valuable resource.