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©2018  NEW SCHOOLS FOR ALABAMA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

START A SCHOOL

The Process

New Schools for Alabama is first and foremost a charter school support organization. We provide expert technical assistance to charter schools throughout the application process to ensure that promising applicants gain approval and are able implement their school models for the students who need them most. 

But the process of opening a charter school is far more complex than simply submitting a compelling application. The following list represents—at a minimum—the steps we believe aspiring charter founders must complete (not necessarily in sequential order): 

  1. Draft a 1-page concept paper crystalizing your mission and educational model

  2. Obtain federal 501(c)3 nonprofit status for your organization

  3. Identify a geographic location

  4. Find a building (not required, but encouraged)

  5. Understand your funding (state, local, federal, and philanthropic)

  6. Complete an application

We strongly encourage applicants to reach out early and often in the process. 

Thinking about launching a charter school? 

Types of Charter Schools

The School Choice and Student Opportunity Act of 2015 allows for the creation of two distinct types of charter schools in Alabama: startup charter schools and conversion charter schools.

STARTUP CHARTERS
CONVERSION CHARTERS

Startup Application Timeline

Groups applying to open a charter school in a district that has registered as an authorizer must first apply to the district. Should the district deny the application, applicants can appeal to the Alabama Public Charter School Commission (APCSC). The decision of the APCSC is final. Groups applying to open in a district that has not registered as an authorizer must apply directly to the APCSC. Each application timeline is outlined below. Note that there are two opportunities (cycles) each year to apply.

APPLICATIONS TO OPEN

FALL 2021

LOCAL DISTRICT APPLICATIONS

Cycle 1

Nov. 1

Authorizer releases RFP for applications

Nov. 30

Jan. 27

Applications due

Decisions due from authorizer

Cycle 2*

Jan. 14

Authorizer releases RFP for applications

Mar. 13

May 12

Applications due

Authorizer decisions due

*Districts may choose to issue 2nd cycle

COMMISSION APPLICATIONS

Cycle 1

Sept. 2

Nov. 1

Dec. 17

Feb. 11

Application available

Official application released

Applications due to APCSC

Decisions due from APCSC

Cycle 2

Jan. 14

Mar. 13

May 12

Application available

Applications due to APCSC

Decisions due from APCSC

APPEALS

Step 1

Authorizers submit decisions to APCSC within 30 days of denying application

Step 2

Appeal can be filed by applicants

Step 3

Step 4

Appealing party submits materials to APCSC

APCSC notifies authorizer of appeal; authorizer appoints 11th member to APCSC

Step 5

APCSC schedules open meeting to hear appeal

Step 6

Consideration of appeal

For more application details visit the ALSDE website