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Massachusetts Charter Schools

Board Governance and Charter Amendments

Board Governance

Notification and Amendments

Amendment Requests to Change Charter Region, Maximum Enrollment, Grades Served, and new or existing Management Contracts

Subject to Approval of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

When a school receives its original charter and any subsequent renewals of that charter from the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board), the state approves the charter school's broad academic and organizational plans for the next five years. Any substantive changes to those plans require the approval of the Board for an amendment to the school's charter before the changes are implemented. Charter amendments requiring approval by the Board before they can be implemented include:

  • District(s) specified in a school's charter;
  • Maximum enrollment;
  • Grades served; or
  • Contractual relationship with an education management organization that is providing or planning to provide substantially all the school's educational services.

Deadline for 2020-2021 Requests

All schools who seek to amend their charter through an expansion must submit a detailed request letter by 12:00 noon on July 30, 2020 to in order to be considered and to initiate the Department's review process.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these estimates may change significantly

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Enrollment Projections by District for New Applications and Expansion Amendments
These projections are made available to assist applicants in planning for the submission of a charter application or charter expansion but do not guarantee the number of seats available for award in any district in FY2021. The actual number of seats that may be available for award in any district in any particular year cannot be predicted with certainty and is dependent on several factors, including district enrollment, district spending levels, student enrollment for existing charter schools, and changes in the net school spending (NSS) caps of individual districts. The availability of seats in any district is subject to change and, in this year, we anticipate those changes may be significant. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants should expect significant variation in the number of projected seats available for award once state and local budgets are finalized, which may not be until well into FY2021. The Department will discuss adjustments to projections with applicant groups when updated FY2021 net school spending is available.


For information on how to complete an amendment request under the new process, please refer to the Amendment Guidelines below:

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Charter Amendment Guidelines

All amendment requests shall include a Charter Amendment Cover Sheet and a Charter Amendment Request Letter for Board Approval. Charter Amendment Request Letters should briefly describe how the board came to decide to submit the charter amendment, why the amendment should be granted, and indicate specific concerns if the request is not granted, as applicable. Templates for both documents can be found below:

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Charter Amendment Cover Sheet
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Template of Request Letter for Charter Amendment Subject to Board Approval
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Statement of Assurances for the Federal Charter School Program Grant

If a school is intending to pursue a charter amendment involving a management contract that is a new contract or the revision of an existing contract, the school must consult with the Department prior to submission of a signed agreement between the board and management organization. Please review the required elements of contracts for education services provided below.

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Required Elements of Contract for Educational Services

Last Updated: May 20, 2020

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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