Authorizing 101


What is a Charter School Authorizer?

Charter schools are accountable to their charter authorizer for meeting local, state, and federal requirements. An authorizer is an entity approved by the state legislature to 1) open new charter schools 2) monitor the performance of existing charter schools and 3) close failing schools. 

In Colorado, charter schools can be authorized by school districts or the Charter School Institute (CSI), which is the only statewide authorizer in Colorado.

What are the fundamental principles of charter authorizing?

Fundamental principles of charter authorizing include: 

  • Access to high-quality school options for all students
  • Autonomy for schools to offer educational models that best meet the needs of their students 
  • Accountability for schools in meeting high expectations and fulfilling obligations to students, parents, and taxpayers

What is CSI's approach to authorizing?

The CSI approach to authorizing charter schools balances autonomy and accountability. CSI offers its schools the flexibility to choose the education models and methods that best meet the unique needs of their students and communities, and holds them accountable to clear expectations for academic, financial, and organizational performance. 

Learn More About Charter School Oversight

Colorado charter school authorizers (both district authorizers and CSI) have the authority to approve or deny charter applications, set expectations and oversee performance for their own charter schools, and determine whether to renew or close schools based on performance. 

Charter School Authorizing 101

Understanding Charter School Oversight

Why Authorizing Matters for Quality

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