It is one thing to have an idea in your head about how a school could operate. It is quite another to transform that dream into reality. This chapter is for practical visionaries who are not satisfied to read or think about charter schools, who actually want to do one.
As potential founders plan their school, they must also inform the local community about the proposed school, be prepared to answer questions from interested and critical people, and begin to look for likely students. They must also present their proposal to the hoped-for sponsor. This chapter suggests methods of building local support for the school and recruiting students, offers answers to common questions about charter schools, and suggests ways to prepare a presentation to a potential charter school sponsor.
As you develop your charter school ideas, you must find local allies. One way to do this is to interest the local media in your proposed school. Charter advocates in a number of states have sent letters to the editors of area newspapers, describing their intention to start a new public school and inviting others interested in the concept to contact them. Charter advocates have also found it useful to contact local talk radio programs. An appearance on one or more of these programs helps get the word out and may generate additional interest in the proposal.
Charter school advocates have found that speaking to local business and service clubs is extremely valuable. People in the community will talk about what you are trying to do. The question is how much accurate information they will have. If you or others in