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2024 Request For Proposals for New Charter and Contract Schools

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. Illinois Charter School Law requires 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 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 96 charter and contract schools, serving over 53,000 students citywide.

The 2024 Request for Proposals

This RFP seeks proposals from development teams and existing operators who wish to open a charter school.

The application is available for download. A key timeline of the RFP process is available below.

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

Prospective applicants are required to request office hours via the appointment calendar.

Request For Proposal Process Timeline 2024

Each stage of the proposal submission and evaluation process is included in the timeline below. Please note that dates are subject to change.

Activity Date Information
RFP Released December 18, 2023 The RFP is available for download.
Required Office Hours with Applicants February-March 2024 To kick off the application process, prospective applicants are required to schedule a one-on-one appointment with the Office of Innovation & Incubation to discuss their proposal and the RFP process as well as request an Epicenter account.
Tier I Application Due March 8, 2024 Due by 5 p.m. to Epicenter
Applicant Meeting 2 Late March 2024 I&I staff will meet individually with applicants to discuss their proposal and the RFP process.
Tier II Application Due May 17, 2024 Due by 5 p.m. to Epicenter
Tier III Application Due July 26, 2024 Due by 5 p.m. to Epicenter
Tier IV Application Due October 4, 2024 Due by 5 p.m. to Epicenter
Applicant Capacity Interviews October 2024
Public Hearing November 2024
CPS Board Meeting December 2024