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 the nation’s third largest school district and a national leading charter authorizer, implementing all essential practices established by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers critical to fostering high-performing charter schools. Currently, I&I oversees a portfolio of 137 charter, contract, and options schools and programs, and serves over 60,000 students citywide.
The 2020 Request for Proposals
This RFP will prioritize proposals seeking to serve communities with 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 tabs on this site below:
- Timeline - This tab provides a timeline of the RFP process.
- Application and Supporting Materials - This tab provides the Application for Operators New to Chicago and includes the accompanying materials required to develop and submit a proposal.
Request For Proposal Process Timeline 2020
Each stage of the proposal submission and evaluation process is included in the timeline below. Please note that dates are subject to change.
|Activity||Proposed Date||Information and Updates|
|RFP Released||December 30, 2019|
|Applicant Intent to Apply Form Due||February 21, 2020||Due by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m.|
|Office Hours with Applicants||March 2020||We encourage prospective applicants to reach out and schedule one-on-one appointments with us to discuss their school models, questions, and applications.|
|Tier I Application||May 1, 2020||Due by 5 p.m. to Epicenter|
|Publicly Post Tier I Proposals||Summer 2020|
|Tier II Application Due||July 31, 2020||Due by 5 p.m. to Epicenter|
|Tier III Application Due||September 30, 2020||Due by 5 p.m. to Epicenter|
|Public Hearing at CPS Central Office||November 2020||42 W. Madison, Chicago, IL|
|CPS Board Meeting||December 2020|
I&I reserves the right to request additional information and documentation from applicants, as deemed necessary for review, and to amend this timeline as needed.
Application and Support Material
All Application Support Material not currently available will be uploaded in January 2020.
This page includes all materials required to develop and submit a proposal if the applicant applying would be a New Operator in Chicago.
Applicant Forms and Resource Documents
2020 Request for Proposals for New Charter and Contract Schools
2020 RFP for New Charters and Contract Schools – Application to open new charter or contract schools.