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South Carolina Public Charter School District :: Charter Initiatives

Charter Initiatives


Please contact:
Laura Bayne
Director of Communications
Phone: 803-734-8326


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Welcome to the South Carolina Public Charter School District.  Groups interested in starting the application process should contact the Director of Charter Initiatives as soon as possible to begin the process for 2015. 

Application Process:

  1. Initial Meeting with Director of Charter Initiates, (subsequent meetings upon request)
  2. Letter of Intent to Apply, due 90 days prior to application submittal
  3. Developmental Meeting with SCPCSD Staff
  4. Feedback from Developmental Meeting
  5. Application Submittal
  6. Capacity Meeting with SCPCSD Staff
  7. Feedback from Capacity Meeting
  8. Hearing with SCPCSD Board of Trustees
  9. Contract and Pre-Opening Conditions


1. Initial Meeting

 At this meeting the Director will explain the process of applying for sponsorship under the SCPCSD, answer any questions the committee may have and be the point of contact while the committee is in the application process.  We can be reached by phone 803/734-8322.


2. Letter of Intent to Apply

Ninety days prior to the submittal of the application, the committee must complete the Letter of Intent and email it to the Director Communications.  The Letter of Intent is not binding if the committee decides to withdraw from the process.  The Letter of Intent is available here.  If all the questions on the LOI are not known at the time, please write TBD in the space provided.


3. Developmental Meeting with SCPCSD Staff

This is the first of two meetings with the staff.  The charter committee will present their school to the staff following the required questions in whatever format the committee chooses.  This meeting usually last about one and a half hours.  At least three people from the committee should attend this meeting.  The questions for the Developmental Meeting are available here.  If the committee is using a litigable presentation it must be sent to the Director of Communications 24 hours prior.  The questions for the Developmental Meeting are available here.


4. Feedback from the Developmental Meeting

Within five business days the committee will receive written feedback from the SCPCSD on their readiness to submit an application based on the presentation and questions and answers with the staff.  This feedback should give the committee an idea of how the staff judges their school on the bases of its need, innovation and expected results.  The feedback will also address the staff's opinion of the capacity of the committee.


5. Application Submittal

As of now applications are on a rolling deadline.  After the 90 days required by the LOI has elapsed the application can be submitted to the SCPCSD electronically.  No paper copies of the application are required at the initial submission time.  Committees will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours acknowledging the receipt of the application and with details of their charter committee capacity meeting. Once the application is submitted the SCPCSD has 90 days to have a public hearing and rule on the application. The applicaiton will be assessed for compliance using the Applicaiton Compliance Evaluation (ACE) form. 


6. Capacity Meeting

The SCPCSD will now read the application and conduct a capacity meeting with the entire charter committee.  The Capacity Meeting Requirements are available here.  The presentation should be sent to the Director of Charter Iniatitives 24 hours prior to the scheduled meeting.  The capacity meeting is held between the applicant and the SCPCSD staff.  At this meeting the applicant should strive to prove that the charter committee has the capacity to open and oversee a school.  The SCPCSD is making great strides in improving the applicant/approval process in order to only approved applications where the charter committee can demonstrate high capacity in the areas of compliance, educational program, EMO oversight, fiduciary and governance.  The outcome of the meeting will result in either a staff recommendation to the SCPCSD Board of Trustees to approve the charter application or not based on specific grounds.  All charter committees should take this meeting extremely seriously and bring all the members required to demonstration a high quality committee. 


7. Feedback from Capacity Meeting

The committee will receive written feedback within five business days as to whether or not the staff will recommend to the SCPCSD Board of Trustees approval of the charter.  If the staff does not recommend the application the committee may withdraw and resubmit after updating the application to meet the staff's standard for recommendation.  The staff recommendation is not binding on the SCPCSD Board of Trustees.  A committee may proceed to the hearing without a staff recommendation.


8. Hearing with SCPCSD Board of Trustees

Prior to the end of 90 days the SCPCSD Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing for the application.  The questions for the Board Hearing are available here.  The presentation should be sent to the Director of Charter Initiatives 24 hours prior to the hearing.  If the application is approved the committee will continue to the contract stage.  If not the committee is encourage to continue to work with the Director of Charter Initiatives to resubmit at a later date. 


9. Contract and Pre-Opening Conditions

Schools approved by the SCPCSD Board of Trustees must enter into a contract with SCPCSD prior to the opening of school.  The contract template is available for review as well as the Pre-Opening Conditions that also must be met before receiving state funds. 



State Charter Application

The 2015 Charter Application has not been released from the State Department of Education to date.  However, charter committees have the opportunity to review the webinars for the 2014 application.  The links for each webinar and handouts are listed in the table below.  The application has been divided into 4 parts (see below) in order to cover the information thoroughly including the appendices that accompany each section.                       


    Application Sections
  1.  Mission, Need and Educational Program Webinar Part I   Webinar Part IB  Powerpoint
   2. Enrollment, Goals and Evaluating Pupil Performance Accountability System Webinar  Goal Template Goals Powerpoint Webinar Part II
   3. Governance, Parent Involvement, Discipline and Special Needs Assessing Special Education CapacityBoard Requirements, Powerpoint Part III, Webinar Part III, Special Ed Policies

Budget, Insurance, Transportation, Employees, Facilities and Educational School Management Contracts  Highly Qualified, Powerpoint Part IV, Finance Handout, EFA Chart Webinar Part IV


These webinars will be updated when the new 2015 application is released from the SC State Department of Education. The 2015 application should be released by February 2015 for schools opening in the 2016 school year.  The SCPCSD also urges new charter committees to also avail themselves to the webinars hosted by the SC Public Charter School Alliance in addition to the ones posted here prior to the submittal of your application. Their website is


Transferring into SCPCSD 

Schools interested in transferring their sponsorship to SCPCSD must complete the Transfer Form and submit to the SCPCSD by January 5, 2015.


To open some of the forms listed above, you may need the latest version of Adobe Reader.








The South Carolina Public Charter School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, or immigrant status in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person have been designated to handle the nondiscrimination policies. For questions pertaining to Section 504 and Title IX, contact the Director of Federal Programs and School Safety, at 3710 Landmark Drive, Suite 201, Columbia, SC 29204, 803/734-8322.