Charter Schools / How to Apply / Transfers

How to Apply for a Change in Authorizer

Applying for a Change in Authorizer



Existing Minnesota charter schools seeking to change authorizers submit an application responding to the criteria.  The application and evaluation rubric are available under "Downloadable Resources". 

Please note that, while Friends of Education accepts applications on a rolling basis, Minnesota law requires that the entire process with the proposed new authorizer (e.g. application, evaluation, approval, draft of proposed charter contract, submission to Minnesota Department of Education) be completed no later than 105 business days before the end of the school's current charter contract with the school's existing authorizer.  Charter schools seeking to transfer should consider this statutory requirement when submitting an application.


Friends of Education evaluates whether the school has demonstrated academic, fiscal, and operational success.  In making this determination, Friends of Education comphrensively evaluates the schools historical: Academic Performance, Fiscal Soundness, and Operations.

Successful charter school applicants evidence an active school board which adequately governs, cirtically evaluates, and strategically leads the school.  Friends of Education makes this determination through its evaluation of the school's historical:  external audit findings, fund balance, academic performance, and operational compliance.  Friends of Education may request additional information from the applicant.  Schools which have not demonstrated historical success do not merit additional consideration.  Schools meriting additional consideration are further evaluated by Friends of Education. 

Site Visit & Interview

Friends of Education schedules a site visit with school applicants meriting additional consideration.  The purpose of the site visit is to confirm the application and evaluation and to identify potential issues not addressed in the application.  Friends of Education also interviews school stakeholders.  The purpose of the interview is to confirm information, respond to concerns, and clarify items raised by the Friends of Education evaluation team.

Post-Site Visit Evaluation and Decision

Friends of Education makes a wholistic determination as to whether the school has both demonstrated historical success and the capacity for future quality performance.

Learning Program Requirements

Friends of Education has learning program requirements. Elementary schools must implement a program which provides students foundational skills, such as that typified by the core-knowledge sequence developed by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. and the Core Knowledge Foundation or the Classical Trivium (these are examples). Middle schools must implement curriculum which prepares students for high-school success, and high schools must implement curriculum which prepares students for post-secondary success.  Elementary schools must also implement a phonics-based reading program rich in literature and the Saxon or Singapore math program unless a different math program is specifically approved by Friends of Education on a case-by-case basis.