How to Start a Charter School

From Vision to Implementation:

Public charter schools are recognized in national and international education circles as one way of promoting innovation and quality in public education. Charter developers are considered educational entrepreneurs—visionary thinkers, mavericks and institution builders. They catalyze change by creating learning laboratories and providing a venue for new skills and mindsets. Successful public charter schools are not only quality education programs focused on high achievement for all students, they are also well run non-profit businesses.

The timeline from vision to implementation can vary dramatically. Statute requires that petitions be submitted to the initial authorized chartering entity no later than September 1 and approved no later than January 1 in order to open in the following school year.

This site provides required forms, tools and templates, as well as resources for charter developers. The State Department of Education provides direct assistance to individuals or groups interested in founding charter schools.

Charter Stars

Charter StarThe Charter Stars award was created to acknowledge and recognize outstanding charter schools in Idaho. The criteria are: adequate yearly progress, school leadership, innovative programs, service learning projects and parent involvement.

The Charter Stars winner for the 2009-2010 school year was Anser Charter School which was announced at the annual Idaho Charter School Network Conference in June 2010. Since the school opened in 1999, Anser has had a number of engaging activities with the community. The students work with 40 different agencies every year and clock more than 5,000 hours of community service. Anser also has met the state's AYP for the past three years in a row. This school met or exceeded every criterion for the Charter Stars requirement.

Please visit their website at:

The Chartering Process - flowchart

Petition Process:
PDF Icon Forming a Charter School - Suggested Steps
Menu of Required Forms:
PDF Icon Sufficiency Review Form
PDF Icon Amendment Sufficiency Review Form
PDF Icon Elector Signature Form: New Schools
PDF Icon Elector Signature Form: Conversion Schools
PDF Icon Teacher Signature Form: Conversion Schools
PDF Icon Parent Signature Form: Conversion Schools
PDF Icon Charter Approval Form
Resources and Tools
PDF Icon Charter School Opening Checklist
PDF Icon Start-Up Logistics

For Further Information, go to Resources & Research Page