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Support: Starting a Charter School in Colorado
Support Services for Starting a Charter School in Colorado

The League provides a variety of services to support the development, growth, expansion, and replication of high-quality charter schools in Colorado. The League's new school development services are designed to support charter schools from inception through the early years of operation. For existing schools that seek to grow, expand, or replicate, the League offers assistance in strategic, business and multi-year financial and operations planning.


If you are interested in starting a charter school in Colorado, please start by contacting Jennifer Savino, Ph.D., M.Ed. or Kathy Zlomke at the Colorado League of Charter Schools. Next, visit for a detailed look at the steps ahead.


Planning Process

The League's new school team will meet with founding groups to help structure a planning process, identify planning team capacity needs, and arrange for ongoing support via subsequent follow-up meetings, and phone and email communications throughout your new school’s development.The League provides school planning and implementation templates, best practices, excerpts from successful charter school applications, planning facilitation, and standards for developing high-quality charter school applications.


Charter Application Reviews

The League strongly encourages new school developers to request reviews of, and feedback on, draft charter school applications prior to submitting them to an authorizer. A team of internal and external reviewers is available, through the League, to evaluate each section of a draft application and provide constructive feedback based on the League's Quality Standards for Developing Charter Schools. Developing groups should first submit a Stage 4 Planning Grant with enough lead time for the grant application to be reviewed and approved, prior to the draft application deadline. Please contact the New School Development team at In order to allow time for revisions after the League's review process, near-final draft charter applications  should be emailed to the League at least two months prior to an authorizer's submission deadline. (more...)


Access to Grants and Funding


The League offers grant opportunities for developing charter schools:


Planning Grants

Thanks to the generous contributions from the Daniels Fund, the Walton Family Foundation, and Wend Ventures, the Colorado League of Charter Schools offers six planning grants that are designed for groups that are in the process of developing high-quality charter school models and are writing a charter application. These grants are designed to assist groups who haven’t been able to access other planning funds to assist with development costs such as hiring consultants, outreach, etc. There are no deadlines associated with these planning grants; grant proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis. 


Seed grants are available for targeted programs. For more information about grants, please contact






Fiscal Sponsor Services

The League is available to serve as a fiscal sponsor for developing charter school groups that do not yet have their tax-exempt status. There is a 5% administrative oversight fee for this service. To learn more about the Fiscal Sponsor service and to complete an application, please contact Jennifer Savino at  303-989-5356 ext. 130 or


Mentor Program

Are you a part of a charter public school founding team in Colorado? Would you like to have a personal mentor who has successfully navigated the process? The League can match you with a mentor who has been involved in the development, launch and continued operations of a successful charter public school! Our mentors are happy to consult with you on an as-needed basis as you work toward the successful launch of your school. Contact Jennifer Savino at 303-989-5356 x130 or


Charter Renewal Support

Be sure to contact the League when your charter contract comes up for its first renewal (ideally in the spring prior to your renewal year). We offer a variety of renewal support services including: technical assistance and resource sharing to comprehensive performance evaluations, policy reviews, facilitated renewal discussions with your district and in-depth renewal reports and reviews. Please contact Jennifer Savino at 303-989-5356 ext. 130 or learn more.


Growth, Expansion, and Replication

The League facilitates meetings with school boards and leadership to design a process and timetable for developing a business plan and a growth, expansion, or replication strategy. The League also provides samples of well-developed business plans, a replication readiness checklist, referrals to connect with others who have done this work successfully, assistance with multi-year and multi-site financial forecasting, and feedback on draft plans.