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2018 Request for Proposal to Open a New School

At Chicago Public Schools (CPS), our vision is that every student in every neighborhood will be engaged in a rigorous, well-rounded instructional program and will graduate prepared for success in college, career, and life. This Request for Proposals (RFP) seeks to identify high quality school options that will accelerate academic outcomes for their targeted CPS student population.

As the local school district in Chicago, CPS serves as the charter authorizer for the city. The Illinois Charter School Law requires the review of all charter school proposals submitted to Illinois school districts. CPS releases an annual request for proposals designed to review new school applications, provides recommendations to the Chicago Board of Education on new school proposals, and provides oversight to authorized charter schools. CPS uses this RFP as its mechanism to accept proposals and meet the Illinois statutory requirement. The Office of Innovation and Incubation (I&I) is the office within CPS that oversees charter school authorization and oversight for the district.

CPS is one of the nation’s largest school districts and a national leading charter authorizer, implementing all 12 essential practices established by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers as critical to fostering high-performing charter schools. Currently, I&I oversees a portfolio of 142 charter, contract, and options schools, and serves approximately 63,000 students citywide.

Among the portfolio of CPS-authorized schools are several diverse and innovative school models, blending technology with individualized instruction, dual-language programs, pre-professional training in the arts, and International Baccalaureate Programmes, among many others.

The 2018 Request for Proposals

This RFP will prioritize proposals seeking to serve communities in high need of improving educational outcomes and communities experiencing school overcrowding. CPS will consider proposals from operators who seek to open charter or contract schools to serve either a "traditional" student population (grades kindergarten through 12) or an "alternative" student population of students who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out.

The information, forms, and support tools needed to complete this application can be found in the three tabs on this site:

  • Timeline - This tab provides a timeline of the RFP process.
  • New Operator Application - This tab provides the Application for Operators New to Chicago and includes the accompanying materials required to develop and submit a proposal.
  • Existing Operator Application - This tab provides the Application for Existing Chicago Operators and the accompanying materials required to develop and submit a proposal.

CPS will host a webinar for applicants in February 2018. We encourage all applicants to participate, and will provide information to sign up when an exact date is set.

Please contact 773-553-1530 or with any additional questions.