Application to Start a New Charter School

Due Date: On or before February 1 of the year preceding the year in which the proposed public charter school plans to begin operation, the sponsor shall file applications as follows by the close of the business day:

  1. The number of hard copies required by the LEA (no more than 5) and one electronic copy of the complete application to the director of schools for the local board of education considering the charter school application, AND
  2. One electronic copy of the complete application to the Tennessee Department of Education, Office of Charter Schools. 

The same number of copies of any updates or revisions submitted during the review process should also be submitted to the above entities.

Note: Some LEAs may have supplementary guidance for their application process.  Though we have tried to include those materials below, please contact the LEA well in advance of submitting your application for any additional guidance.

Note: Legislation passed during the 2017 session of the Tennessee General Assembly permits charter authorizers to charge a charter school application fee of up to $2,500 for each charter school application.

Applying for a Charter?

More information is available at  Tennessee School Charter Center: Programs & Resources.

Planning and Authorization Documents

  • Vacant and Underutilized Facilities Reports – 
    • New reports available no later than October 15, 2023
    • FY2022 Reports
      • Hamilton County: No Current Vacancies Reported
      • Knox County: No Current Vacancies Reported
      • Metro Nashville Pubclic Schools: MNPS FY22
      • Shelby County: SCS FY22

Required Documents

New Charter Schools

  • Application to Create a Charter School Opening in School Year 2025-26
    • Materials for Next Application Cycle Coming Soon
  • Additional Authorizer Application Requirements
    • Available by November 15, 2023