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Charter school applications, guidance now available

Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Charter school applications and guidance are now available on the Iowa Department of Education website.

The guidance and applications are in response to a new law passed during last year’s legislative season enabling the expansion of charter schools in the state.

For those wanting to launch a charter school during the 2022–23 school year, the deadline for applications is Feb. 1 at 11:59 p.m. If a charter school applicant wishes to open for the 2023-24 school year or a subsequent year, the application deadline is Nov. 1 of the preceding school year.

Iowa Code outlines the following purposes of charter schools:

  • Improve student learning, well-being, and postsecondary success.
  • Increase learning opportunities for students in areas of need, including but not limited to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM).
  • Increase opportunities for work-based learning, early literacy intervention and serving at-risk
  • populations.
  • Accelerating student learning to prevent learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic and other significant disruptions to student learning.
  • Encourage the use of evidence-based practices in innovative environments.
  • Require the measurement and evaluation of program implementation and learning outcomes.
  • Establish models of success for Iowa schools.
  • Create new professional opportunities for teachers and other educators.

It is strongly encouraged that applicants contact the Iowa Department of Education to receive technical assistance before completing the application. If the local school board founding group wishes to utilize technical assistance, it must contact Janet Boyd at or 515-745-3385 before application submission. Once an application is submitted, it is considered final and no additional changes will be accepted.