Start a Charter School
In September 2021, DC PCSB announced that it would not be accepting new school applications in order to re-envision their evaluation in alignment with the Strategic Roadmap. Over the next year, DC worked to improve its process, culminating with the publication of the 2023 Charter Application Guidelines. The application guidelines now better align with citywide need and raise the bar for excellent and equitable new school options. Learn more about our revision process here.
The School Reform Act (SRA) requires applicants seeking to establish a new public charter school in DC to file a petition with DC PCSB, as the sole authorizer in DC. The 2024 Charter Application Guidelines explains the process by which applicants submit their petitions and DC PCSB evaluates them.
For questions about charter applications, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Components of the Application Review Process
Based on the following four components and the Standard for Approval, the DC PCSB Board will vote at a public meeting for one of three possible outcomes for each applicant group: approval with standard conditions, approval with standard and school-specific conditions, and denial. More information on the Standard for Approval and applicant decisions can be found in the guidelines.
· Written applications should be submitted according to the 2023 Charter Application Guidelines. Each written application, with redactions, is made available on DC PCSB’s website for public access.
· Site visits to the operator’s existing school(s) will be scheduled for all eligible existing operator [EO] or school management organizations [SMO].
· Capacity interviews allow DC PCSB staff and Board members to ask founding group members a series of questions. Topics include the founding group’s ability to execute the plan as written; supports for students with disabilities (SWD), emerging multilingual learners (EML), and at-risk students; teacher recruitment and retention; demand for the proposed school; and weak or confusing areas of the application. Transcripts of the capacity interviews will be made public.
· Public hearings are opportunities for the Board and the public to hear from the founding group. The applicant may provide prepared comments no longer than five minutes, then the Board will question the applicant group about its application, planning process, or any other relevant topic. The public will also have the opportunity to give testimony about the application.
The following timeline represents the external-facing events comprising the 2023 Charter Application Review Cycle. Dates are subject to change based on scheduling needs. DC PCSB staff will notify prospective applicants if there are changes and dates will be updated here. All times are provided in Eastern Time (ET).
|Release 2024 charter application guidelines||September 27, 2023|
|Release updated demand analysis||January 8, 2024|
|Letters of intent due (encouraged but not required)||January 22, 2024 at 5 p.m.|
|Applicants submit all application materials.||March 8, 2024 at 9 a.m.|
|DC PCSB informs applicants if their applications are complete||March 8, 2024 at 5 p.m.|
|[EO]/[SMO] site visits, if applicable||March 13 – April 14, 2024|
|Capacity interviews||March 26 – 27, 2024|
|Public hearing on new school applications||April 22, 2024 at 6 p.m.|
|Vote on new school applications||May 20, 2024 at 6 p.m.|
|Release decision letters||May 30, 2024|