The University interprets its responsibility to authorize charter schools as a part of a larger attempt to improve education for children and in this instance, the education of children who live in an urban area. Charter schools must have programs that provide quality education to students and address the critical issues of today’s urban education environment. The academic achievement of children who are viewed as at-risk should be the central focus of the charter school application. Substantive outcomes must be given priority over process experiences if academic achievement is to serve as the central focus.
It is the University’s goal to look for charter applications that have a high potential to improve the quality of education for students with no or few high-quality educational options rather than the authorization of a large number of charter schools. As such, the Office will consider charter options for communities/school districts if one of the following exists:
- A district has at least one school that received “Fails to Meet Expectations” consistent with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Report Card data for at least two consecutive years. Consideration would only be given to prospectuses which target the grade levels of the district school(s) that Fails to Meet Expectations.
- A new or innovative program that presents educational options to address specific needs (i.e. at-risk populations, dropouts, and other educational needs) that are not being served within the district.
Being granted a charter to operate a school requires thought and planning as well as a committed organization that can sustain the development and operational requirements of a charter school. Potential applicants must be able to commit eighteen to twenty-four months of planning time before a charter school can become a reality.
The University and SOE consider the following principles to be essential to the development of charter schools authorized by the University. These principles are as follows:
- The charter school should be developed to improve the overall education conditions for children who live in urban areas.
- The charter school should reflect the “best educational practices” based upon professional standards and current research.
- The charter school should be developed to reflect linkages between and among the school, families, and community agencies.
- The charter school population should reflect the diversity of the population of its community.
- The administration of the charter school should embody principles of democratic management.
- The charter school success measures should encompass both academic and social outcomes for children, as well as consumer satisfaction.
Deadlines and Information
Schools Planning To Open Fall Of 2025
Prospectus is due by Feb. 29, 2024 by 4:30 pm
Review Team recommendation given by March 29, 2024
Application is due by Aug. 30, 2024 by 4:30 pm
Review Team recommendation given by Sept. 30, 2024
*Phase II is for applicants that have submitted a prospectus and received approval to move forward or applicants that wish to transfer charter authorization to or replicate the educational model with UWM. A school wanting to change authorizers or replicate must be in at least its fourth year of operation in Milwaukee when the application is submitted.
For Further Information About Applying