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Charter School Application Materials

Charter School Application Documents

Due Date: On or before April 1 of the year preceding the year in which the proposed public charter school plans to begin operation, the sponsor shall file applications as follows by the close of the business day:

  1. The number of hard copies required by the LEA (no more than 5) and one electronic copy of the complete application to the director of schools for the local board of education considering the charter school application
  2. One electronic copy of the complete application to the Tennessee Department of Education, Office of Charter Schools. Email or submission via online file transfer service (e.g., is preferred. But submission via CD, USB drive, or other portable media is acceptable.

The same number of copies of any updates or revisions submitted during the review process should also be submitted to the above entities.

Please note that some LEAs may have supplementary guidance for their application process.  Though we have tried to include those materials below, please contact the LEA well in advance of submitting your application for any additional guidance.

TN law requires one application per charter school. However, existing operators proposing to replicate a school that has already been authorized in TN only need to submit the replication application posted below. Similarly, sponsors applying for multiple schools in one application cycle do not need to complete an original application for each school. Instead, they should complete one original application and a supplemental application for each additional proposed school. Further explanation is provided on pages 2 and 3 of the replication application/application supplement.

Applicant Training

For individuals interested in applying to local education agencies (LEAs) or the Achievement School District (ASD) in 2014, the Department of Education, the Achievement School District and the Tennessee Charter School Center are hosting two part training sessions in Memphis and Nashville in September and October 2013.

The first session will be geared toward applicants who have not yet drafted an application or whose previous applications to open a charter school in Tennessee were unsuccessful. The time from conception to submission of a successful charter school application is usually at least 18 months. This first session will cover:
- The education landscape in Tennessee,
- What it takes to operate a successful public charter school, and
- The application process.

The second session, in October, will be geared toward applicants with fairly well-developed applications and leadership development plans, who plan to submit applications in April 2014, to open schools in the fall of 2015. This session will provide:
- Application review exercises (norming on quality),
- Peer feedback on application drafts,
- Legal and operational training for further application and leadership team development.

Please use the links below to register for these events:

Charter School 101 – Memphis Sep. 11, 5 p.m.
Charter School 101 Slides

Charter School 201 – Memphis Oct. 15, 5 p.m.
Charter School 201 Slides
Application Excerpts and Scoring Rubric (ASD)

Applications for Charter School Authorization
  Planning Documents  
  Starting a High-Quality Charter School (Checklist)download Word file  
  The Application Process (Flowchart)download Word file  
  Necessary Documents Deadline
New Charter Schools Letter of Intent download Word file January 31, 2014
  2014 Application download Word file April 1, 2014
  Application Guides for KCS, MNPS, MCS April 1, 2014
  Replication Application/Application Supplement download Word file April 1, 2014
  Application Budgetdownload Excel file April 1, 2014
  Charter and ASD Funding Overview FY14 download Excel file  
  Budget Completion Resources
Please contact the authorizing LEA for BEP, Title I and IDEA Part B per pupil amounts to use in budgets.
Charter Renewal 2014 Charter Renewal Application download Word file October 1, 2014
Authorization Documents Authorization Timeline 2014 download pdf file  
  2014 Application Scoring Rubric download Word file  
  2014 Replication Application/Application Supplement Scoring Rubric download Word file  
  NACSA’s Principles & Standards for Quality Authorizing