Applying to open a charter school in New York is an extensive process. Developing a thoughtful school design requires planning teams to delve into curriculum and research, engage their communities, build an effective Board of Directors, search for facilities, etc. All this even before submitting a detailed outline of their vision in an application to one of New York’s two authorizers! 

Fortunately, applicants don’t have to go through it alone. With programs, resources and mentorships to guide you through the process, the Charter Center team will get you moving in the right direction. 

PLEASE NOTE: There are currently no charters available to be issued in New York City. Applicants considering opening a charter school in other parts of the state will benefit from these programs. 

Charter 101

Charter 101 is a free, introductory webinar for those interested in learning basic information about how to apply to open a charter school in New York state. 

Apply Right

With an intense focus on developing strong applications, the Apply Right seminar helps planning teams get their vision off the ground. Apply Right provides participants with the tools, guidance and resources needed to ensure their charter application is well informed and ready for submission to one of New York’s authorizers. 

websites to know

New York State Charter School Authorizers

New York State has three authorizers, the State Education Department (NYSED), the State University of New York (SUNY) and the NYC Department of Education. Only NYSED and SUNY are currently authorizing new charters. Each has their own application timelines and criteria for approval. Generally, the process works as follows:

  1. Teams interested in starting a charter school must first select which authorizer they want to work with.
  2. Planning teams are required to submit a Letter of Intent in accordance with the deadline set forth in the authorizer’s Request for Proposals (RFP).
  3. Authorizers will then invite teams they deem qualified to submit full proposals.
  4. Once the applications are in, the authorizers will arrange capacity interviews with planning teams whose applications meet their initial criteria.
  5. A charter is issued following approval from a Board of Regents vote.

“We’ve been able to push the conversation around what quality means, what is a good school and what does that look like.”

Andrea Zayas, La Cima Elementary Charter School


charter students in all 5 boroughs


of NYC public school students attend a charter school

Why We Started a Charter School