Information for Applicants
The information below will help you get started with information you need to begin the application process.
What is an attendance zone? (Updated: 10/27/2022)
A state charter school attendance zone means all or a portion of a local school system, one or more local school systems or portions thereof, or all local school systems in this state. A charter school petitioning for authorization by the SCSC must:
- Have a state-wide attendance zone; or
- Have a defined attendance zone and demonstrate that the charter school has special characteristics, such as a special population, a special curriculum, or some other feature or features which enhance educational opportunities.
A school may not select an attendance zone to avoid local concurrent submission requirements. Instead, petitioners should select their attendance zone based on the following SCSC considerations:
Statewide Attendance Zone: The petitioner has confirmed community interest in, and presents a plan to recruit students from, the majority of Georgia school districts. If the petition is approved, the school must accept enrollment of students from any local school system in Georgia.
Defined Attendance Zone: The petitioner has confirmed community interest in, and presents a plan to recruit students from, less than a majority of Georgia school districts. If the petition is approved, the school may only accept enrollment of students from the local school systems defined in its attendance zone.
Evidence of community interest must be submitted with the petition and may include, but is not limited to, letters of support, pre-enrollment forms, signed petitions, and sign-in-sheets from town hall meetings discussing the proposal. The evidence must show the location of interested stakeholders relevant to local school systems in Georgia. Petitions that lack requisite evidence to support the selected attendance zone may be disqualified from further review or denied.
Who may start a charter school in Georgia?
Existing local schools, private individuals, private organizations, and state and local public entities may organize a charter public school subject to a performance-based contract approved by both the state and local boards of education or by the state board of education alone.
Who cannot start a charter school in Georgia?
The term "charter petitioner" does not include home study programs or schools, sectarian schools, religious schools, private for-profit schools, private educational institutions not established, operated, or governed by the State of Georgia, or existing private schools.
How do I petition the State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia to authorize a charter school?
You may find the petition application, timeline, evaluation guide, and other helpful materials by navigating the links on the left side of this page.
Does the SCSC provide assistance to petitioners?
The SCSC hosts an annual Petitioner Boot Camp, petitioner webinars and Early Feedback Program. More information is available on the Petitioner Resources page.