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Charter Schools

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In May 2021, Governor Reynolds signed two bills into law that affect the establishment and operations of new charter schools in Iowa. House File (HF) 813 establishes, and HF 847 amends, procedures for new charter schools effective July 1, 2021, under Iowa Code chapter 256E. A charter school may be established by either a district school board’s founding group (i.e., School Board-State Board Model) or an independent founding group (i.e., Founding Group-State Board Model).

Existing charter schools (those established prior to July 1, 2021) are not subject to the new laws but will continue to operate under the former regulations for charter schools. While chapter 256F remains in effect for charter schools established prior to July 2021, no additional charter schools may be established under 256F.

Applications and Guidance

Charter Schools Program Guidance - Summarizes the 2021 legislation signed into law that affects the operations of new charter schools (established after July 1, 2021) in Iowa. The intended audiences for this guidance are district school boards and independent founding groups considering establishing a charter school.

Charter School Rule Comparison

School Board-State Board Model Application and Guidance

This application is to only be submitted by a local school board founding group wishing to establish and operate a School Board-State Board model charter school within and as part of the school district. For an application to be reviewed, the local school board founding group must complete and submit the application form with all its required attachments. 

For school years on or after the school year beginning on July 1, 2023, applications submitted to the Iowa Department of Education on or before November 1 of the preceding school year shall be considered for approval for the establishment of the charter school for the next school year.

The charter school guidance and applications for school years beginning on or after the school year beginning July 1, 2023 are being updated and will be available in the spring of 2022. For assistance and inquiries regarding the application process, please contact Janet A. Boyd at janet.boyd@iowa.gov or 515-745-3385. 

 

Founding Group-State Board Model Application and Guidance

This application is to only be submitted by an independent founding group wishing to establish and operate a Founding Group-State Board model charter school independently from the school district. For an application to be reviewed, the independent founding group must complete and submit the application form with all its required attachments. 

For school years on or after the school year beginning on July 1, 2023, applications submitted to the Iowa Department of Education on or before November 1 of the preceding school year shall be considered for approval for the establishment of the charter school for the next school year.

The charter school guidance and applications for school years beginning on or after the school year beginning July 1, 2023 are being updated and will be available in the spring of 2022. For assistance and inquiries regarding the application process, please contact Janet A. Boyd at janet.boyd@iowa.gov or 515-745-3385. 

Reports to the Legislature

Charter Schools and Innovation Zone School Report

Charter Schools Program Finding and Recommendation Report

Contact Janet Boyd at janet.boyd@iowa.gov or 515-745-3385 for more information regarding annual reports or charter laws in Iowa.

Authorized Charter Schools Prior to July 1, 2021

Storm Lake / Iowa Central / Buena Vista Early College Charter High School (Grades 9-12)
Storm Lake Community School District
P.O. Box 638
Storm Lake, Iowa 50588-0638

Northeast Iowa Charter High School (Grades 9-12)
West Central Community School District
P.O. Box 54
Maynard, Iowa 50655-0054

Link to Charter School Finance

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on May 16, 2022 at 8:05am.