Charter Schools / How to Apply / New Schools

How to Apply for a New School

Request for Proposals

New School Priorities

Friends of Education seeks to expand learning opportunities for Minnesota scholars, and we invite individuals and groups who have the skill, capacity, and vision to open and operate a high-quality charter school.  Successful applications present a credible plan to provide a fiscally-sustainable quality education to all students, including English-Learners and those with special needs.
Friends of Education invites all applications and is specifically interested in applications which:
  • serve low-income communities and/or communities of color
  • intentionally serve families with different socio-economic, ethnic and/or cultural backgrounds

Applying for a New School

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). Elementary schools must also implement a phonics-based reading program and a sequential math program such as Saxon or Singapore (these are examples).  Middle schools must implement curriculum which prepares students for high-school success, and high schools must implement a program which prepares students for post-secondary success.

Information Session 

Friends of Education conducts information sessions to review application requirements and common errors with applicants, and to respond to specific questions.  Friends of Education encourages, but does not require, participation in an information session.  

Letter of Intent

Charter school developing groups must submit a Letter of Intent to Friends of Education.  Refer to the Charter School Program Guide and Letter of Intent Template for additional information and requirements.


Applicants are expected to respond to each application item in a comprehensive manner and follow the application and format requirements.  Friends of Education staff perform a desk review upon receipt of each application.  Applications which are incomplete, do not meet the learning program requirements, do not comply with the application and format requirements, or demonstrate significant fiscal deficiencies do not merit additional consideration, and are so notified. 

Expert Review 

Applications meriting additional consideration are further evaluated by Friends of Education and its review team. The review team includes external experts with a wide-range of experience, including charter school operations, education, and finance. Applications which demonstrate a thorough understanding of key issues and the capacity to successfully open a high quality charter school are scheduled for an interview.


The applicant's founders participate in an interview with Friends of Education's evaluation team. There are not pre-determined questions for the interview. The applicants should be prepared for specific questions regarding any aspect of their application. The purpose of the interview is to respond to questions or concerns that the review team had in evaluating the application and to determine whether the developing group has the capacity to implement the proposal. 

Post-Interview Evaluation and Decision

The Friends of Education evaluation team makes a holistic determination as to whether the developing group has the capacity to successfully establish a high-quality charter school consistent with its proposal.

Approved applicants receive feedback to further improve the school's development.

Denied applicants also receive feedback for the developing group's consideration in any future application.

Ready to Apply - Application Upload Portal:

Step 1:  You have sent a complete letter of intent to Friends of Education by November 1.
Step 2:  You have received login credentials and have all documents ready to submit a charter school application:  Click Apply 


Useful Links

Center for School Change

Minnesota Association of Charter Schools

Minnesota Department of Education

Important Upcoming Dates

Letter of Intent Due:  11.01.2023

Application Due:  01.04.2024
(for a Fall 2025‚Äč opening) 

For Letters of Intent and Application Instructions please see Charter Schools, How to Apply:


Scheduled upon request

Request a session:

Sessions held at:

11100 Wayzata Blvd, Suite 800, Minnetonka, MN.  Virtual sessions may be held upon request.