One of the basic components of the chartered public school model is that the school's non-profit corporation is granted a "charter" or "public franchise" to operate a public school by a state approved entity known as an "Authorizer."

In Minnesota, an authorizer may be a traditional school district, a traditional non-profit organization, a college or university, or a nonprofit organization created for the sole purpose of authorizing schools (these entities are known as single-purpose authorizers).

All authorizers must demonstrate to the State of Minnesota their capacity and ability to serve as a authorizer before authorizing schools.

The relationship between an authorizer and a school development group begins before the school is granted a charter. The granting of a charter by an authorizer enables the school developers to open and operate a charter school. The authorizer and school enter into a legally binding written charter contract that outlines the agreed upon goals and performance of the school.

Throughout the course of the charter contract, the authorizer monitors and evaluates the performance of the school and, at the end of the contract, makes a decision on whether to renew the charter with the school.

To learn more about the eligibility and approval process for authorizers, authorizer responsibilities, authorizer funding, and authorizer performance evaluation:

Authorizer Accountability

In Minnesota, the performance of authorizers is required to be evaluated at least every five (5) years.  Authorizers must also submit an Annual Performance Report, and an Annual Financial Income and Expenditure Report to the MN Department of Education.

The Association compiles and  publlishes a Report on Authorizer Income & Expenditures based on the Annual Financial Income and Expenditure Reports submitted to MDE by auhtorizers.