Charter SchoolsAcademic Excellence : Minnesota Department of Education

Charter Schools

Charter Schools

Charter schools are independent public schools of choice for parents and students.  The first charter school in the nation opened in Minnesota in 1992, and charter schools continue to be a popular choice for student seeking an alternative to traditional public schools.  Teachers, parents and others begin charter schools when they see an educational need and want to design a school to meet it.  Only the number of students that the charter school can serve limits admission to a charter school.  Since charter schools tend to be smaller schools, many of the schools have waiting lists each year.  Currently there are 102 charter schools in operation serving 19,000 students in Minnesota.  It is anticipated twenty-three schools will open in the fall of 2005 and twelve charter schools have already been approved to open in the fall of 2006.

Although each charter school offers a unique education program, students can expect quality education based on results.  Charter schools employ licensed teachers, offer services to special needs students and require students to take state and national tests to assure academic accountability.  Parents may contact charter schools directly to find out about the type of programs that are offered and to enroll their students in charter school programs that match the interests and needs of the students.  Charter schools do not charge tuition, and there are no admission requirements to enroll students in charter schools.  New charter schools with exciting programs open their doors to students every year in Minnesota, making charter schools a leading choice for students who are seeking an option to traditional public schools.

Click here for Profiles of Minnesota charter schools published by the University of Minnesota’s Center for School Change.

2006-07 School Year Lease Aid Requirements for Charter Schools  84Kb (5/3/06)
     May 1, 2006
Charter School Annual Report  29Kb (10/6/05)  37Kb (10/6/05)
     Charter School Annual Report due 10-1 of each year. Data elements may change for each reporting period to reflect need for different types of information.
Federal Charter Schools Program Dissemination Grant Opportunity  403Kb (2/14/07)  300Kb (2/14/07)
     The Charter Schools Program Dissemination Grant Project is designed for experienced charter schools to disseminate their best practices to other public schools. Dissemination Grant proposals are due to MDE by Monday, April 2, 2007. Technical assistance sessions will be held on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 and Monday, March 5, 2007 to assist eligible applicants in developing high-quality proposals. Please see the Dissemination Grant RFP for complete information
Federal Charter Schools Program Grant Contract Budget Form  29Kb (2/9/07)
     Federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) Planning Grant and Dissemination Grant applicants must use this Grant contract Budget summary form that has been specifically tailored for use by Federal CSP applicants.
Interactive Revenue Projection Model for Charter Schools  115Kb (12/28/05)
     Interactive spreadsheet that examines the relationship between pupil counts and revenues.
Minnesota Charter Public School & Federal Charter Schools Program Planning Grant Application  477Kb (2/7/07)  623Kb (2/7/07)
     The next due date for developers applying to open a charter school in the fall of 2008 is due to MDE by Friday, July 6, 2007. Schools applying to open fall of 2008 will need to follow the guidelines in this application. This is an updated and revised application and process; MDE will only accept submitted applications that follow the new guidelines.
Model Contract for Charter Schools  100Kb (7/26/05)  60Kb (7/26/05)
     Sep 15 2005