State Education Department Receives a Record Number of Intent to Apply Requests for New Charter Schools

Last week the State Education Department (SED) received a record 91 Letters of Intent for new proposed charter schools. Seventy applicant groups intend to establish charter schools in the five boroughs of New York City. Twenty-one applicants are from outside New York City and include groups seeking to start schools in Binghamton, Brentwood, Copiague, Hornell, Jamestown, Nassau County, Niagara Falls, Poughkeepsie, Rotterdam-Mohonasen, Utica, Westbury, Yonkers, East Ramapo, Buffalo, and Rochester.

Unlike previous years, the design of the schools is balanced to serve all grade configurations. Of those who submitted their Letter of Intent, 22 applicants aim to open high schools (9-12), 16 applicants intend middle/high schools (5-12) and 5 applicants intend K-12 schools. The list also includes a cohort of 25 applicants interested in creating elementary/middle schools (K-8). For this round, SED received 21 Letters of Intent for schools that are focusing on grades K-5 or 6.

For proposed schools working with SED, the Charter School Application Process has 3 phases, which are:

  1. Letters of Intent: past deadline (January 19, 2011)
  2. Prospectus: due January 31, 2011
  3. Full Applications: due March 31, 2011

The other charter school authorizer, State University of New York, Charter School’s Institute (SUNY- CSI) has a different timeline:

  1. Letters of Intent: due February 1, 2011
  2. Full Proposals: due February 28, 2011

What an exciting year for the charter sector with so many applicants in the pool and so much possibility for quality schools to move forward!