SEATTLE - Washington state's new Charter School Commission has opened the statewide application process for charter schools.
The first step in the process is an October 22nd deadline to submit a letter of intent to apply to open a charter school.
Then, potential charter school operators have until November 22nd to submit their applications.
The commission plans to announce its decision on the first applications by February 24th.
State law allows up to 40 charters to open over the next five years, or about eight of the new public schools a year.
The Spokane School District also is starting a process to approve charter schools within district boundaries. Other districts that want to become authorizers have until October 1st to tell the State Board of Education that they plan to apply next year.