2009 Rocky Mountain Teacher Fair

Authorizer Procedure and Timeline

Colorado is a state that recognizes each local school district board as having local control over the decisions that affect their schools. Because of this, each school district sets their policies and rules ensuring that they meet statutory requirements but also meet the needs of their community. There are a range of authorizer practices across the state that vary from the issuance of a RFP asking for proposals to address a certain need, to districts having no charter policies in place and very little capacity to oversee a charter school. Districts may have requirements for charter applicants in addition to state law, and can set an application due date within a window of statutory dates. If the charter applicant does not meet the requirements of the authorizing district, their application may be deemed incomplete or denied. The applicant may appeal the authorizer's decision to the state board, but must prove that their application is complete and of high quality.

The charter applicant should contact the authorizer to inform them of their intent to submit an application and to ask for any specifics that the district requires in an application. Most districts have policies in place that explain the submission date, application content information, and any additional requirement that the authorizer has specifically established (such as providing 15 printed copies that are tabbed and labeled, by no later than 5 PM, on Sept 1). While a charter application needs to include any areas that are delineated in state law, the district may ask for additional information, require early submission (See Pre-review section) of a draft of the charter prior to the official submission, require an intent to submit form by a due date, etc., all of which will need to be considered in the school's pre-planning process. The developing team will want to be familiar with the district's process in order to ensure their application meets all of the guidelines. The applicant will also want to build a rapport with district personnel in order to get answers to their questions, meet with persons in various areas of expertise to better understand requirements, and begin building a strong working relationship with their authorizing district.

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