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Opening a charter school

In Maryland, county school boards are the primary Authorizers.  In order to open a public charter school, a non-profit organization (Operator) submits an application to the local school board (Authorizer). If approved by the local school board, the operator and authorizer sign a multi-year contract.

The contract outlines the charter school program, location of the school, funding and terms for renewal or termination. The contract defines areas in which the operator has the autonomy to run the charter school in exchange for increased accountability for student performance and management.

If you are considering starting a public charter school in Maryland, now is the time to get started! In 2017, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) received a five year Federal charter school start-up grant for planning, design and implementation of new charter schools in Maryland. The application for the second round of grants has been released, and is due May 17, 2019. For more informaiton go to the MSDE Charter School Grant PageLooking for some tools to get started? Visit the new MAPCS Programs & Resources Site.

Charter Schools in the United States

44 states and the District of Columbia have charter school laws. The laws vary in the degree of autonomy, accountability and funding for charter schools, including the authorizing agency that may approve and renew their application. Currently, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools ranks Maryland at 44 out of 44 states in terms of the strength of its law.

Charter Schools in your county

In Maryland, charter schools operate in only a few areas including Baltimore City,  Baltimore County (opening Fall 2019), Anne Arundel County, Prince George's County, Frederick and St. Mary's County. See a complete listing of charter schools by jurisdiction.