Before a Minnesota charter school may be formed, a charter school developer must identify a state-approved authorizer whose mission aligns with the proposed school’s mission. There are currently 14 approved authorizers in Minnesota. An authorizer can be a school board or intermediate school district school board, other education districts, charitable organizations, institutions of higher education, a nonprofit corporation subject to Chapter 317A, or a single-purpose authorizer.
Three critical aspects of an authorizer’s oversight work are:
- Establishing the initial performance contract with a charter school;
- Determining if a charter school is ready to open; and
- Deciding whether or not to renew a charter school contract.
The Minnesota Authorizer Performance Evaluation System (MAPES) was implemented in 2014 to evaluate authorizer performance on their oversight of charter schools. Find information regarding MAPES and authorizer ratings and reports under the Authorizer Performance tab.
Commissioner-approved Charter School Authorizers
View a complete list of commissioner-approved charter school authorizers, including contact information and the schools they authorize, at MDE-ORG.
Charter School Directory
Find a complete list of charter schools in Minnesota, including contact information, in the MDE-ORG database.
New Charter Schools - 4/6/21
A list of recently approved charter schools. This resource includes anticipated opening dates and contact information for each school.
Application to Authorize Charter Schools in Minnesota - 10/20/20
This document provides guidance and instructions to eligible organizations who are interested in becoming an approved charter school authorizer in Minnesota. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Guidance on Forming a Charter School in Minnesota - 10/16/20
Interested in starting a charter school in Minnesota? This document provides an overview of the process.
Charter School Expansions - 7/10/20
A list of recently approved charter school expansions to add primary enrollment sites or grades, including instructional prekindergarten or preschool programs.
Officially Recognized Charter School Early Learning Programs - 4/20/20
The list of Officially Recognized Charter School Early Learning Programs