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How to Start a Charter School

If you are looking forward to starting a charter school in your locality, you have come to the right place. Find in this article a detailed stepwise guide on how to start a charter school business.

Education has turned costly with time. Just like other schools, charter schools are gaining popularity throughout the United States. These are basically public schools but with their own mode of teaching and independence. Charter schools are funded by the government. It has to follow the same laws a district school does and has to meet all the local and state academic standards.

It isn’t easy to start a charter school. The school must comply with all the standard performance reviews and offer regular amenities. These schools don’t use the traditional way to teach students and follow their own concepts. Charter schools focus on trying to innovate the way they teach and how students learn.

What makes charter schools different from other schools is the variety of educational options they provide for the children within the public school system. To open a charter school, you will have to follow a complete guide meeting all the guidelines set by the government. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can start a charter school:

10 Steps to Start a Charter School

1. Legal Compliance

First, you should know that not all states allow the opening of a charter school. Second, it should meet all the guidelines and standards before it can start to operate legally. These type of schools are funded by the government, so it has to go through the legislative process to obtain legality. To open and operate, a charter school must have all state permits meeting certain legal standards.

Before you plan to start a charter school in the United States, keep in mind that states have capacity limits. More than 50% of states do not allow to the opening of a charter school over and above a certain limit.  You must check out National Center for Education Statistics and get informed whether opening a charter school is allowed or not at present.

2. Capacity & Permissions

Once you go through the legal process, it’s time for you to check the capacities. Several states do not allow charter schools or don’t allow a specific number to operate within that state. Even before you start planning, do check with the state government whether the school is eligible or not.

Due to public supervision, governments often set limits on several types of charter schools with restrictions.

3. Choosing the Concept for Your Charter School

Charter schools innovate with the way of teaching and learning. The primary aim of a charter school is to provide society with better educational opportunities. You have to brainstorm ideas and choose a concept that does not currently exist. Your concept should be able to deliver a unique way of making education better with a well-rounded system.

4. Analyze Your Charter School Concept

Remember the government will only fund the school when they find your idea unique and something different than the current public school system. Analyze your concept, see whether it’s realistic or not, and think of ways to add points to your charter school. The concept should be different than the current public school curriculum. But, make sure your concept complies with the state’s standards of education

5. Establishing the Board

Choose your team, and establish your board for the charter school. The school is going to need a team of members for it to run smoothly. So, establishing the board will help the charter school with better governance.

Appoint your board beforehand and delegate the function to the respective members. The function of the board will help in avoiding internal conflicts and easy delegation of authority.

6. Choosing the Location

Location plays a vital role here. As this is a school, you have to be very selective while choosing a location. Schools come with playgrounds, facilities, security, and other options, so you have to choose a location accordingly.

Generally, charter schools choose a location and sign a lease. The state will evaluate the location to make sure it offers all the potential facilities within a central territory.

7. Drafting the Petition & Submission

Get a mission statement ready. You will have to include it in the petition with the board you chose. Draft the charter petition by explaining your school plan for a prospective business. Try making it extensive as much as possible defining your idea.

The state will first evaluate whether the charter petition is viable or not. Try including a vision and mission for the school with the facilities the school will offer with the structure, curriculum design, and hiring practices.

Submit the letter of intent with all the requisite information. You may have to submit the same to the local school district and the Department of Education as well. After submission, now you need to wait for authorization. If the local school district denies your letter of intent, you can appeal the same to the county. If denied again, you can then appeal to the state.

8. Calculate the Cost of Starting a Charter School

Remember, to run a charter school, you must have already a running school. The cost of starting a school in the United States is around $2,50,000. It includes incorporation costs, licenses, setup costs, and many more.

9. Start Hiring Faculty & Staff

If you get approval from the local district, you can now start hiring staff for your charter school. With the approval, now you have the authority to operate. You will need a host of teachers including administrators and managers for different facilities. To hire staff, you can start putting online job listings or advertising in the local newspapers and magazines.

10. Initiating the Admission Process

With your teachers and staff ready, now you can start enrolling students. With the approval, now you can legally start your charter school. The government has certain standards and rules for class size restrictions, admissions, and other regulations. Comply with the governmental regulations and go ahead with your school’s mission and vision for the future.

Evaluate the operations on a timely basis, monitor progress, and assess the regulatory standards. This is a complete guide on how to start a charter school business successfully.