Charter School Office

Starting a Charter School - 2021


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.

2021 Round 1

2021 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 2021 Request for Proposals (RFP) to Establish New York State Charter Schools Authorized by the Board of Regents.  

There are numerous changes to the 2021 new charter school RFP. Most prominently, this year's version of the new charter school RFP reiterates NYSED’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, community-based authorizing, And they focus on a portfolio of charter schools that serve our state’s most vulnerable children through research-based innovative educational models that have strong connections to community.


2021 Application Cycle

Submission Rounds

Letter of Intent Due

Full Application Due

Proposed Regents Action


Round 1

May 3

July 15

November 15-16

Additional Rounds

There is currently only one new school RFP application round scheduled for 2021 and NYSED, although reserves the right to schedule additional RFP rounds in 2021 at its sole discretion, none are anticipated. 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 this website.

This timeline is subject to change at the discretion of NYSED and/or the Board of Regents. Any adjustments will be communicated via the CSO website as early as possible.

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:

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: February 22, 2021