The field narrows to three applications for new Massachusetts charter schools and five schools seek to add more seats. The out-of-pocket costs to districts for these new schools have not yet been calculated.

New Charter Schools

The seven charter school applicants who submitted letters of intent as new charter schools were required to submit a prospectus by July 1, 2018. Only three of the potential applicants submitted the required documents:

*These schools submitted an application in previous years and either were not invited to submit a final application or were not recommended for approval.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will review the prospectuses and the commissioner will decide which applicants will be invited to submit final applications on the following timeline:

  • September 2018 – Invitation to submit final application – Commissioner decision.
  • October 25, 2018 – Final applications due.
  • A hearing in the district where the school is to be located will be scheduled after final applications are submitted – TBD November/early December.
  • Commissioner will review applications and make a recommendation to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
  • January BESE meeting – BESE will discuss DESE recommendations.
  • February BESE meeting –  BESE will vote on DESE recommendations in February.


Five existing charter schools have submitted applications to expand:

*The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School’s’ application to expand has been denied previously. All other applications are first-time expansion requests.

The process for considering existing charter school expansion requests is different from that required for applications for new charter schools. The DESE expects that the BESE will not consider recommended expansion applications prior to December 18, 2018.

More information on the charter school application process is available here.

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