Charter School Sponsorship

South Carolina State University is officially a charter school sponsor for the state of South Carolina.

According to S.C. Code Ann. 59-40-10 (supp.2011 and as amended by H.3241), the term “Sponsor” refers to South Carolina State University, and specifically its Board of Trustees, as the local board of trustees in which the charter school is to be located, as provided by law, a public institution of higher learning as defined in Section 59-103-5 from which a charter school applicant may request its charter and by which granted approval for the charter school’s existence would be approved. Only those public or independent institutions of higher learning, as defined in this subsection, who register with the South Carolina Department of Education may serve as charter school sponsors. The SCDE shall maintain a directory of those institutions.

The sponsor of a charter school is the charter school’s Local Education Agency (LEA) and a charter school is a school within that LEA. The sponsor retains responsibility for special education and shall ensure that students enrolled in its charter schools are served in a manner consistent with LEA obligations under applicable federal, state, and local law.

The sponsor is also referred to as the charter authorizer.

The South Carolina Charter Schools Act of 1996 defines a charter school as a public, nonreligious, non-home-based, nonprofit corporation forming a school that operates by sponsorship of a public school district, the South Carolina Public Charter School District, or a public or independent institution of higher learning, but is accountable to the board of trustees, or in the case of technical colleges, the area commission, of the sponsor which grants its charter.