Charter Schools

  • Charter schools are nonsectarian public schools of choice that operate with freedom from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools. The "charter" establishing each such school is a performance contract detailing the school's mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment, and ways to measure success.


    The length of time for which charters are granted varies, but most are granted for 4-5 years. At the end of the term, the entity (sponsor) granting the charter may renew the school's contract. Charter schools are accountable to their sponsor (usually a state or local school board) to produce positive academic results and adhere to the charter contract.


    The basic concept of charter schools is that they exercise increased autonomy in return for this accountability. They are accountable for both academic results and fiscal practices to several groups: the sponsor that grants them, the parents who choose them, and the public that funds them


    Application Guidelines to Open a Charter School in Marion County

    Applications for new charter schools requesting to open for school year 2018-2019 will be accepted from May 2, 2017, until no later than 5:00 p.m. August 1, 2017.


    The application shall be submitted adhering to guidelines set forth in the Model Florida Charter Schools Standard Application Format. The following link includes the directions and requirements for the complete application packet required by Marion County Public Schools (MCPS):


    The complete application packet must include:

    • One (1) original of the application packet, with original signatures (one-sided and rubber-banded);
    • Ten (10) copies of the application packet (one-sided and rubber-banded); and
    • One (1) electronic copy provided on a flash drive.


    Financial information (budget, etc.) must be submitted in the template approved by MCPS Finance Department, which can be found on the Charter Support Unit Website at:


    Applications will be considered by the School Board in the form submitted. Amendments will not be permitted prior to the vote.


    In accordance with § 1002.33(6)(b), Fla. Stat. (2015), an applicant may submit a draft charter school application on or before May 1st along with a review fee of $500 in order to request a review and receive feedback as to material deficiencies in the draft application. Draft application instructions can be found at the following link: Draft Application Instructions.

Charter Schools Contact Information

  • Ken McAteer

    Director - Secondary Education

    Stephen Ayres


    Voice 352-236-0525
    Fax 352-236-0520

    FRS 800-955-8770
    TTY 800-955-8771


Charter Schools in Marion County

Charter School Links

Last Modified on August 14, 2017