Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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What is the application process for establishing charter schools?


Although the annual timelines are different, the charter application process is the very similar for both open-enrollment and district conversion charter applicants and includes the following steps:

  • The State Board of Education (SBE) approves the document to be used as an application
  • Potential applicants submit letters of intent to apply for charters to staff at the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)
  • ADE staff conducts a technical assistance conference
  • Applicants submit their applications
  • Applications are reviewed and evaluated, based on a rubric published as part of the application packet, by staff from various divisions at the ADE
  • Applicants receive evaluations with comments from ADE staff
  • Applicants respond to the comments and submit the responses
  • ADE staff who reviewed and evaluated the original applications review responses and reevaluate
  • The Charter Authorizing Panel interviews applicants and takes action on the applications in a public meeting


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