Charter School Information

What is a Charter School?

Starting a Charter School


Charter Schools in Maryland


Local School System Contact Information

Charter School Job Opportunities

History of Maryland Legislation

Starting a Charter School

Click this link for the Maryland Charter School Founder's Manual, 3rd Edition, which is an indispensible guide for those individuals and groups interested in starting a charter school. Sections run the gamut from how to develop a mission statement, select a curriculum, raise funds, and find a facility through to financial planning and getting parent and community involvement.  There are valuable links to a wide variety of resources including sample vision and mission statements, local school system charter school contacts, and Maryland application deadlines.

Below are a series of learning modules to assist charter school founding groups in developing their proposal.

MCSN also offers various Technical Assistance training sessions including a nine week Application Development Series. Click here to see upcoming events and technical assistance opportunities.

Planning and Writing a Charter School Application



I. Mission and Vision.pdf

  • Identifying and Recruiting School’s Founders
  • Comprehensive School Design
  • Charter Drafting
  • Establishing Need for School
  • Developing Clear Mission and Vision
  • Creating Measurable Goals and Objectives
  • Community Involvement
II. Education Plan.pdf
  • School Theme - Grade Levels
  • Geographic Area
  • At-Risk
  • Educational Philosophy
  • Curriculum
  • Pedagogy
  • Alignment with State Standards – Maryland Voluntary State Curriculum
  • Special Education and LEP

III. Business/
Financial Plan.pdf

  • Preparing a School Budget: 1 year; 5 year, and 18 Month Cash Flow Projections
  • Financial Management – GAAP, Policies, Audit
  • Development and Fundraising
  • Start-up Timeline
  • Sub-grant Process

IV. Management Plan.pdf

  • Build Strong Governing Boards That Focus on Results
  • Board Governance
  • Leadership Training
  • Policy Development – Waiver Requests
  • Personnel - Teacher Recruitment and Securing Contracted Services
  • Planning for Start-up
  • Relationship to BOE and Department – Division of Responsibilities

V. Facility Plan.pdf

  • Property Procurement
  • Lease Negotiations
  • Facility Assessment
  • Zoning
  • Planning for Physical Improvements
  • Transportation
  • Breakfast/Lunch Program
  • Technology

VI. A. Evaluation Plan – Student and School.pdf

  • Defining and Measuring Student Performance
  • Mandatory Testing & NCLB
  • Performance Measures and Outcomes
  • Reporting
  • Annual Report

VI. B. Charter School Legal Issues.pdf

  • MD Charter School Law
  • District Mandates
  • Charter School Incorporation