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Charter School Authorization Process


The following timeline and application components are for schools that will open for the 2024-2025 school year pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-13-107 which states, “On or before February 1st of the year preceding the year in which the proposed public charter school plans to begin operation, the sponsor seeking to establish a public charter school shall prepare and file with the authorizer and the department of education an application…”

Sponsors applying for charter schools are required to submit the 2022 Charter Application and Budget to both Memphis-Shelby County Schools and the Tennessee Department of Education by the close of business on February 1st.

Letter of Intent

All applicants must file a Letter of Intent at least 60 days prior to the application deadline of February 1st. This letter must be delivered to the local board of education and the Tennessee Department of Education no later than December 3rd. HERE is the Letter of Intent for review. Note: Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent before submitting an application. When the December 3rd deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or State observed holiday, the application materials are due the next business day.


MSCS will receive 2024-25 Charter Applications on January 31st and February 1st. Specifics on application submission will be provided to applicants who have submitted a Letter of Intent by the December 3rd deadline. When the February 1st deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or State observed holiday, the application materials are due the next business day.

Information on how to submit charter school applications and Letters of Intent is available on the TDOE website.


Submit Letter of Intent and application to the Tennessee Department of Education and Memphis-Shelby County Schools using the contact information below. Please note that (5) hard copies, and one electronic copy of the application materials must be submitted to the Memphis-Shelby County Schools Office of Charter Schools, in addition to a $2,500 application fee per school. Note: More specific information about the drop-off of application materials and applicant orientation will be sent after Letters of Intent are received.

Please submit application materials using the contact information below:

MSCS Office of Charter Schools
[email protected]
160 S. Hollywood St.
Room 138 Memphis, TN, 38112

Tennessee Department of Education
[email protected]