Types of Authorizers

State laws empower a variety of different agencies to authorize charter schools, creating a mix of authorizer types, characteristics, and powers in each state. NACSA identifies six types of authorizers:

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HEI | Higher Education Institution

States with active HEI authorizers:
Florida Ohio
Indiana Oklahoma
Michigan South Carolina
Minnesota Utah
Missouri Wisconsin
New York

ICB | Independent Chartering Board

ICBs, also known as “commissions” or “institutes,” are statewide bodies set up for the sole purpose of awarding charters and overseeing charter schools.

States with active ICB authorizers:
Alabama* Maine
Arizona Mississippi
Colorado Missouri*
District of Columbia Nevada
Georgia Oklahoma
Hawaii South Carolina
Idaho Tennessee
Illinois Utah
Indiana Washington

LEA | Local Education Agency

LEAs are usually a local or countywide school district whose school board is the literal “authorizer” since it makes final decisions.

States with active LEA authorizers:
Alaska Nevada
Arizona New Hampshire
California New Mexico
Colorado New York
Delaware Ohio
Florida Oklahoma
Georgia Oregon
Idaho Pennsylvania
Illinois South Carolina
Indiana Tennessee
Iowa Texas
Kansas Utah
Louisiana Virginia
Maryland Wisconsin
Michigan Wyoming

NEG | Non-Educational Government entity

NEGs are mayors and municipalities that serve as the authorizer.

States with active NEG authorizers:

NFP | Not-For-Profit organization

States with active NFP authorizers:

SEA | State Education Agency

SEAs are typically housed in a state’s department of education.

States with active SEA authorizers:
Arizona New Mexico
Arkansas New York
California North Carolina
Connecticut Ohio
Delaware Oklahoma
Georgia Oregon
Louisiana Pennsylvania
Massachusetts Rhode Island
New Hampshire Texas
New Jersey