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Colorado Charter Schools


In the state of Colorado charter schools are public schools that operate via a contract with an authorizer such as the local school district or, in some cases, the Colorado Charter School Institute. Our office administers the Colorado Charter School Startup and Implementation grant, which provides technical assistance to charter schools and authorizers, processes waiver requests for the State Board of Education, collects data on charter schools, produces special topic studies and the state evaluation of charter schools, and responds to questions from the general public. See more information on the CCSP Grant.

News & Updates

Charter Development Summit 2023

Join us for the annual Charter Development Summit, featuring 3 virtual modules and 1 culminating, in-person summit! Formerly known as the Charter School Bootcamp, the Summit is reaching more attendees by presenting relevant information for existing schools looking to expand or replicate, new school developers and key stakeholders in your charter school organization. Our goal is to prepare leaders in education, for high-quality and exceptional accountability for charter school development and success. The format for the event has changed from a singular, in person event to a hybrid of options for those planning to open a charter school and those already operating a Colorado charter school.  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

SOC/CEE Learning Series #4: The Critical Role Leaders Play

Wednesday, November 16th at 3.30pm, join us for the 4th session in our Learning Series "From Policy to Practice: Changing Beliefs about Charter Schools’ Inclusivity of Diverse Learners." Kaci Coats from CEE will facilitate a discussion with guests Brent Reckman, CEO, The Academy of Charter Schools, Rachel Miller, Principal, Aspen Ridge Prep School, and Chris Gibbons, Deputy Director for Charters, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Register here today.

The Educator Loan Forgiveness Program application window is open

The Colorado Department of Higher Education is accepting applications for the Educator Loan Forgiveness Program, which will grant up to $5,000 annually to educators currently serving rural districts or teaching in hard-to-fill positions. This program is funded for five years. To qualify, teachers, administrators, and special service providers must have a license valid in the state of Colorado. Prospective participants must complete the application by Saturday, Jan. 15. CDHE will notify all applicants of their program status within 60 days from the close of the application. Updates will be posted on the CDHE website and social media accounts

2023-24 BEST Grant deadline

Wednesday, Nov. 30, is the deadline for all potential applicants to notify CDE of their intent to apply for a BEST grant in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2023-24 grant round. Complete the Grant Manager registration form via Google Docs by Wednesday, Nov. 30.
To view the full grant round announcement, or for more information on the BEST Grant program, visit the Capital Construction Online Grant Application Process webpage.

Innovative Learning Opportunities Pilot 2023-24

The Intent to Apply form for the Innovative Learning Opportunities Pilot Program is available for 2023-24. The Intent to Apply is due by Friday, Dec. 9. For an overview of the application and application timeline, register for the ILOP application webinar at 1p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14. The ILOP Application process webpage has more detailed information about the application process. 2023-24 ASCENT 101 and Estimated Numbers Intent to Participate. If districts are planning to participate   the ASCENT program next year, they should complete the 2023-24 Estimated Number of ASCENT Program Participants Intent to Participate web form by Monday, Nov. 14. View the ASCENT webpage for additional information

Apply for the Postsecondary Workforce Readiness Career and Education Grant

The application for the Postsecondary Workforce Readiness Career and Education Grant is open.
Funds can be used for developing and distributing financial aid information, training educators, hosting financial aid and FAFSA/CASFA completion events and for updating the Individual Career and Academic Plan process.
View the Financial Aid and FAFSA/CASFA webpage for additional information

Funding Available for Shortage Area Educators – please review as areas have expanded!

The 2022-23 Educator Recruitment and Retention Program application is open. Under this program, qualified applicants may receive up to $10,000 to cover the cost of their educator preparation program. Recipients must commit to serve for three years in an educator shortage area approved by the State Board of Education at its August meeting. To be eligible, applicants must have secured employment as an alternative teacher or temporary educator eligibility educator in a shortage area, be currently employed as a paraprofessional, or have secured a position as a CTE instructor in a rural or small rural district. For more detailed information and to access the application, visit the Educator Recruitment and Retention program webpage.

New funding opportunity

The School Health Professional Grant Program is intended to provide behavioral health education and intervention to students who are enrolled in elementary and secondary schools, and provide training and resources to school staff for implementing evidence-based programming for behavioral health education and care for all students. Visit the School Health Professional Grant Program webpage for additional information.

Gifted Education Advisory Committee

Applications are open for individuals interested in joining the Gifted Education Advisory Committee for the 2023-26 term.
See the Gifted Education State Advisory Committee webpage for districts and available openings

Charter School Board Training: On-Demand Resources

During Summer 2022, the CDE Schools of Choice sent a survey to Authorizers regarding the support for charter school boards needed in the field.  In this document you will find themes that emerged and on-demand resources available that address those themes. If you have any questions, please reach out to the SOC Team with any questions,

CDE/CLE Learning Series Resources Available

In response to the recent research and OCR complaints around enrollment of special education students in charter schools, CDE's Schools of Choice office and the Collaborative for Exceptional Education have designed a special leadership series of virtual training and support titled “From Policy to Practice: Changing Beliefs about Charter Schools’ Inclusivity of Diverse Learners”. Please join us each month as we examine policies and practices that can lead to negative perceptions and even potential liability while also offering strategies and solutions that can positively communicate inclusive messages while protecting the school against legal and financial risk. The schedule for all upcoming sessions and the recording and resources from past sessions are available on our website