Districts had until September 15 to register.
According to the Alabama State Department of Education, those papers are under review and feedback will be provided to applicants during the early part of October.
State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice told the Decatur Daily that if he were a local superintendent, he would want to become an authorizer in order to maintain local control over charter schools.
If the local board does not become an authorizer, charter school operators go straight to the Alabama Public Charter School Commission to apply, bypassing the local board.
However, with the first charter schools not expected to open until the 2017-2018 school year, it appears most school boards have decided to wait for all of the rules to be developed before making that decision.
State education officials have said that boards of education will be allowed to decide on an annual basis, likely during June of each year, whether to become charter authorizers or to revoke their authorizer status.
The ALSDE’s Office of Public Charter Schools has a web site, complete with the latest developments.
- November 1, 2015: Requests for proposals (RFPs) for charter operators to be issued and publicized widely by local boards who registered to become authorizers by September 15.
- February 1, 2016: Charter operator applications due to local authorizers.
- April 1, 2016: Authorizer decisions due.
- April 15, 2016: Charter operator denial appeals due to Commission.
- June 15, 2016: Commission deadline to issue final opinions on appeals.
The timeline then allows for a full planning year before a charter school can begin operations in the 2017-2018 school year.
The Commission held its first meeting in August (full video below) and will hold its second meeting some time in October, though no date has been set.
This document establishes annual timelines as mandated by the Alabama School Choice and Student Opportunity Act.