Resources for Applicants

The SUNY Request for Proposals process pertains only to those applicants interested in applying to the State University of New York  Board of Trustees for the authorization of their charter.


How the Process Works for New Applications

  1. Applicant Submits Intent to Apply
  2. Applicant Submits Full Proposal
  3. The Institute Reviews Proposal – applicant may be asked to participate in a capacity interview or withdraw application
  4. Capacity Interview with Institute – applicant may be invited to participate in Trustee interview or withdraw application
  5. Trustee Interview with Applicant
  6. Request for Amendment (RFA) Process – (if applicable) If RFAs are not accepted, an applicant may be asked to withdraw
  7. Charter Schools Committee Votes on Charter – Institute findings and public comments are considered in the decision
  8. Institute Sends Final Package to Board of Regents
  9. Charter Becomes Valid when Board of Regents Votes or by Operation of Law within 90 Days or on the first business day of the following calendar year, whichever occurs first.

Proposal Consideration

Proposals are considered by SUNY as part of the Request  for Proposals (RFP) process.  All aspects of proposals are reviewed by the Institute to ensure applicants meet the high standards set by the SUNY and the New York State Charter Schools Act.  The SUNY Trustees make the ultimate determination by voting to grant a charter.  The process is rigorous, which allows applicants to emerge from the SUNY process with a blueprint for building their school.

Review Steps:

  1. Review of the proposal by Institute staff from academic, legal, and fiscal perspectives, and, if applicable, an accountability analysis of student performance data;
  2. At the Institute’s discretion, an external panel of education experts may review proposals and, where applicable, accompanying Business Plans;
  3. For proposals deemed strong enough to move on in the review process, an interview by Institute staff  of the school’s founding group;
  4. Proposals may undergo a Request for Amendments (RFA) process in an attempt to resolve Institute concerns and assure compliance with the Act and all applicable laws and regulations;
  5. If the RFA process yields an application that the Institute feels is strong enough to move on in the process, representatives of the SUNY Charter Schools Institute will interview applicants;
  6. The Institute recommends proposals it believes strong enough to result in outstanding educational opportunities for all students to the Committee. If there are more strong proposals than available charters, the Institute will use preference scoring to determine which proposals to recommend. Committee members then vote on whether or not to approve recommended proposals. There is no appeal of a negative determination at any stage of the process; and,
  7. After the Committee votes, the Institute transmits the proposed charter to the New York State Board of Regents. If the Board of Regents approves the proposed charter a five-year charter will be issued. Otherwise, charters will issued 90 days after submission to the Board of Regents or on the first business day of the following calendar year, whichever occurs first.

Proposal Evaluation

To be considered, complete proposals must be submitted by the appropriate deadlines and meet all expectations, as solely determined by the Institute.  In general, SUNY will evaluate the proposals for how thoroughly applicants meet the requirements of the RFP, demonstrate their ability to operate a school in an educationally and fiscally sound manner, and present a compelling case that the school is likely to improve student learning and achievement and materially further the purpose of the Act. For more information see the current SUNY RFP.