Charter School Office

Starting a Charter School - 2020



An application to establish a new Board of Regents-authorized charter school in New York State may be submitted by one or more individuals who are teachers, parents, school administrators or community residents, under an open competitive RFP process as is set forth in NYS Education Law, Article 56 Charter Schools Act. The Board of Regents will only approve applications that clearly demonstrate a strong capacity for establishing and operating a high quality charter school. This standard requires a strong educational program, organizational plan and financial plan, as well as clear evidence of the capacity of the founding group to implement the proposal and operate the school effectively.


2020 Round 1

2020 Round 1
Full Applications

Following the review of the 13 letters of intent in January to start Round 1 of the 2020 application cycle, the Charter School Office invited 7 of the applicant groups to submit a full application.  By the May 15th deadline, the Charter School Office received 7 full applications to establish new charter schools authorized by the Board of Regents.

2020 Round 1 Full Applications

Virtual Capacity Interview Tip Sheet

2020 Round 1
Letters of Intent

To Establish New Charter Schools to Open in 2021-2022*

In response to the 2020 Request for Proposals issued in January, the Charter School Office received 13 "letters of intent" to apply to establish new charter schools authorized by the Board of Regents. Of the 13 applicants, seven are invited to submit a full application by the May 15th deadline.

Please note, this is not an approval of the application but just the next step in the process. Those who are not invited to the full application stage of Round 1 may begin the process again with a new letter of intent in Round 1 of 2021. 

*Note: At least one of the accepted Letters of Intent indicated that the proposed charter school would open this coming Fall 2020-2021. If the Regents approve and issue a charter to any of the seven proposed charter schools in the 2020 Round 1 cohort, the approved charter schools would open no sooner than the Fall of 2021-2022 as per Education Law. 


2020 Round 1 Letters of Intent

2020 Requests for Proposals (RFP)
To Establish New Charter Schools
Authorized by the Board of Regents

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) supports high-quality educational opportunities for all students in New York State. Toward the aim of creating a diverse portfolio of innovative charter schools that produce strong outcomes for all children through a rigorous new school process, the Department has posted the 2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) to Establish New York State Charter Schools Authorized by the Board of Regents.

If you should have any questions, please submit by email or by phone to 518-474-1762.

2020 Application Cycle



Submission Rounds

Letter of Intent Due

Full Application Due

Regents Action

Round 1

April 3

May 22nd
*Please note this date has been changed from the original May 1st, and May 15th deadline.

September 14-15

Priority School Designs Aligned with Regents Strategic Priorities (refer to Draft 2020 RFP and Application Kit)
  • Bilingual and/or dual-language models;
  • Career and technical education (CTE) models that have sought or will seek NYSED CTE program approval;
  • Innovative special education models that focus on the provision of services to a specific disability group;
  • Over-age, under-credited (transfer) high schools;
  • Partnerships with existing community-based organizations (CBOs) and/or institution of higher education in the school district or region in which the CBO and/or institution of higher education is established; and
  • Replications of existing high-quality school models that have a track record of providing a significant educational benefit to at-risk students.

Additional Rounds

While there is currently only one new school RFP application round scheduled for 2020, NYSED reserves the right to schedule additional RFP rounds in 2020 at its sole discretion. Should another RFP be scheduled, the timing and RFP requirements for such a round, whether they are the same or different from this RFP, will be publicized on the NYSED website at Starting a Charter School - 2020. Should charters become available for issuance in 2020 in New York City, an application round open to only applicant groups who previously applied for a charter in New York City in the 2019 RFP, will be held  pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph.


A high-quality school model is one that meets or exceeds the standards of the NYSED Charter School Performance Framework as well as meets the definition of “high-quality charter school” pursuant to ESEA §4310(8)(a)-(d). Applicants applying for replication must meet all criteria under ESEA §4310(8) (i.e., 4310(8)(a) through (d)).

Application Materials:



2020 Charter School Application FAQ .PDF file (Revised 2/24/2020)

Questions may be directed to the Charter School Office. Please type "Applicant Group Questions" in the subject line.

Links to previous application cycles, FAQs, and materials:

Last Updated: January 22, 2021