Facilities and the Charter School Petition
At petition review, most start-ups have not yet secured a facility. This is because schools find themselves in a catch 22 situation--the district requires developers to identify a facility before obtaining charter approval, yet developers have no ability to secure a site without district approval.
Convince your Authorizer with Details
What can be reasonably done to convince an authorizer that you have the information necessary to successfully implement your program in suitable facilities? Here is a selection of specific information which should be included in your petition:
- Describe the types and potential locations of facilities needed to operate the size and scope of educational program proposed in the charter.
- In the event a specific facility has not been secured, provide evidence of the type and projected cost of the facilities that may be available in the general location of the charter school (which should be aligned with your targeted population and educational program).
- Reflect your knowledge of reasonable costs for the acquisition or leasing of facilities to house the charter school (i.e., indicate your school has done homework regarding costs per square foot). This will be an indication that viable facilities opportunities will not present a problem.
- Be as specific as possible in demonstrating your knowledge of your needs (i.e., knowledge of square footage required, number of classrooms, possible school sites or commercial rental options which fit the educational program).
- Indicate that the developer has worked with commercial real estate agents on identifying possible sites.
- Include timeline for permit process (use permit, zoning variance, etc.)
- Include realistic budget for permits and remodeling.
- Include timeline for remodel and facility updates to meet codes. Remember - it always takes longer than you expect!
Don't wait to begin the search for proper facility.