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HCPSS Charter Schools

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A public charter school is a public school that is created in accordance with state laws and regulations, operates under a charter, and is under the supervision of and is accountable to the Board of Education of Howard County.

Currently, there are no charter schools in Howard County.

Alignment with Board Policy

The Public Charter School Law was adopted into law by the Maryland General Assembly in 2003. The general purpose of the charter school program, “is to create alternative means within the existing public school system in order to provide innovative learning opportunities and creative educational approaches to improve the education of students.” Subsequently the Maryland State Board of Education and local school districts have developed policy for the Charter School Program that clearly defines the obligations of charter schools and their authorizers.

Charter schools are governed by Board of Education Policy 10040 Charter Schools.

Charter School Application

The application process consists of the following three phases:

Phase 1 – Submit Letter of Intent and Prospectus Form

Use this form to provide the school system with a thorough overview of your plan to open and operate a proposed charter school. The notarized Intent Form & Prospectus are due by by 4pm on or before Wednesday, May 1, 2024 for a school year 2025-2026 opening.

Phase 2 – Submit Your Application and Budget Forms

Once you have submitted your Letter of Intent and Prospectus Form and it has been approved, you will need to complete an application and budget form. The fully completed application must be received by the HCPSS Policy/Charter School Office by 4pm on or before Thursday, August 1, 2024 for a school year 2025-2026 opening. A copy of the fully completed application should also be submitted to the MSDE’s Office of School Innovations located at 200 W. Baltimore Street, 4th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201.

Phase 3 – Application Under Review

Once your completed application has been submitted to the HCPSS Policy/Charter School Office, it will be reviewed and evaluated by the HCPSS Review/Evaluation Committee. You will be notified no later than 120 days after the posted application deadline of the status of your application. Review of applications will not begin before the posted application deadline for that school year.

Charter School Resources


For more information concerning the HCPSS public charter school application process call 410-313-6870 or email