Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Charter Schools

Public Comment Form  

Thank you for your interest in Arkansas Public Charter Schools. In an effort to provide the public with an efficient way to communicate their comments regarding public charter schools, the Arkansas Department of Education has created a Google form to collect public remarks. These comments will be collected by the ADE Charter Unit and shared with ALL members of the State Board of Education and Charter Authorizing Panel in a uniform manner. 
Please direct your comments to the form at the following link:
If you experience difficulty in completing the form, please contact the ADE Charter Unit at 501-683-5313.

Public Charter Schools

Public charter schools are public schools of choice that operate with freedom from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools. The charter establishing each such school is a performance contract detailing the school's mission, program, goals, students served, and methods of assessment.

Charters are granted for a period of up to 5 years. At the end of the term, the State Board of Education may renew the school's contract. Public charter schools are accountable to the State Board of Education to produce positive academic results and adhere to the charter contract. The basic concept of public charter schools is that they exercise increased autonomy in return for this accountability. This autonomy is gained by requesting exemption from Title 6 of the Arkansas Education Code and State Board of Education rules. The charter schools are accountable for both academic results and fiscal practices to several groups: the sponsor that grants them, the parents who choose them and the public that funds them.

In Arkansas there are two basic types of public charter schools. A conversion school is a public school converted to a public charter school. Conversion schools can only draw students from within the school district's boundaries.

An open-enrollment school is a public charter school run by a governmental entity, an institution of higher learning or a tax-exempt non-sectarian organization. Open enrollment schools can draw students from across district boundaries. Beyond the basic two types of charters, the concepts put in place by a public charter school are as broad as the imagination. 

Charter Schools Approved to Open in Fall 2016

District Conversion Charter Schools

  • Fayetteville Virtual Academy
  • Cave City High School Career and Collegiate Preparatory School
  • Gentry High School Conversion Charter
  • Hot Springs World Class High School
  • Springdale School of Innovation

Open-Enrollment Charter Schools

  • Arkansas Connections Academy
  • Future School of Fort Smith


For more information, please contact:

Alexandra Boyd, Director of Public Charter Schools 
Arkansas Department of Education
Four Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-683-5313
Fax: 501-371-3514

State Standards

Learn more about the standards that define the knowledge and skills Arkansas students should have in order to be ready for college and careers.

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Licensure & Certification

Find critical information about renewing Arkansas educator licenses, adding areas of licensure, licensing by reciprocity from other states, background checks and more.

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ESEA Flexibility

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