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Arizona Charter School Program Mission:

AZ Charter School Program Ensures High-Quality Educational Choices by Selecting, Monitoring, and Assisting Transformative Leaders.

Arizona Charter School Program Vision:

Challenging Curriculum, Engaging Instruction and Rigorous Assessment


The Arizona Charter Schools Program (AZ CSP) is a competitive start-up grant that supports visionary leaders who will form charter schools which will improve student achievement to high academic standards and improve high school student achievement and graduation rates.  Special preference will be awarded to those leaders who form schools in urban and rural areas with a history of poor academic performance.

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Upcoming AZ CSP 2015 – 17 Application Round II Training – Thursday,  November 7  from 1:30 – 5:00pm

The 2015-17* Arizona Charter Schools Program (AZ CSP) start-up grant application will take place in two rounds.

Round I is for 1) the federally sponsored AZ Charter Schools Association administrated Aspiring Leaders Fellows and 2) applicants who will serve student populations with over 75% Free and Reduced Lunch and have not yet determined their authorizer.

Round II is applicants whose charters have been authorized, including both first time charter applicants and schools approved for replication.

*Awards for Rounds I and II will be released in January 2014 and March 2014 respectively.

Funding Prospects for 2014 AZ CSP Awards. 

The total award granted to the Arizona Department of Education Charter Schools Program by the US Department of Education Charter School program (ED CSP was $48. 7 M over a period of five years, 2009 through 2014.  The last installment will be awarded to AZ CSP on August 1, 2013.  Congress has not funded the Charter Schools Program sufficiently for state education agencies whose grants expire in 2014 to reapply for future funding.

AZ CSP has sufficient funds to complete existing awards; however, 2014 will be the last funding year for Arizona charter school startups.  Depending on the number of quality applications AZ CSP receives, it reserves the right to limit total funding to only two years instead of three.

Arizona Charter Schools (AZ CSP) and State Approved Authorizers Including Arizona School Districts

State approved authorizers which include Arizona school districts have the authority to authorize charter schools under ARS § 15-183. In order to qualify for the AZ CSP startup grant, the state approved authorizer must adhere to the following conditions:

  • It may not authorize a charter school(s) and serve as its governing body at the same time.
  • The state approved authorizer shall authorize an autonomous, not for profit charter entity whose governing body is wholly separate and apart from the school district.  
  • Neither the school district governing body nor its administration shall manage any aspect of the charter school’s operation; i.e., the charter school’s policies, its instructional program, its business/financial operation or its personnel.

The state approved authorizer shall send copies of board meeting minutes in pdf format to AZ CSP within 30 days of a public meeting wherein review of the sponsor’s policies are announced in the agenda or if the AZ CSP awardee charter school(s) is reviewed during the meeting. 

The state approved authorizer may contract as a vendor with the authorized charter school to provide business and financial services, human resources services, special education services and other operation services to the charter schools.  All services must be defined in a contract identifying the types of services provided and the costs of those services.

The state approved authorizer may lease facility space and/or land space to the charter school.

AZ CSP Subgrantee Monitoring, Authorizer Monitoring, and Charter Closure Procedures

Resources :

       2015-2017 Application Documents