Charter Authorizing Panel

Charter Authorizing Panel

Formed in 2013 after the passage of the Arkansas Quality Charter Schools Act of 2013, the Charter School Authorizing Panel is the primary authorizer for all charters in the state. The panel oversees the authorization, renewal, revision, and revocation of charters. Act 462 of 2017 allows for both department staff and individuals outside the department to serve on the panel. In accordance with Act 462 and in an effort to increase representation from multiple stakeholder groups, Commissioner Key named seven Charter Authorizing Panel (CAP) members on August 3, 2017.

Charter Authorizing Panel Members

  •  Phil Baldwin – CEO, Citizens Bank
  •  Dr. Sonja Wright-McMurray – Division of Career and Technical Education, Associate Director
  •  Toyce Newton – State Board of Education Member from August 18, 2009, to June 30, 2016
  •  Freddie Scott – Family and Community Engagement, School Choice, and Parent Empowerment
  •  Kim Davis, Senior Advisor, Walton Family Foundation
  •  Dr. Tina Moore, Director of Workforce Development, Arkansas Department of Higher Education
  •  Dr. Matthew Sutherlin, Chair, Arkansas Department of Education, Public School Accountability


2024 Charter Authorizing Panel Meeting Schedule

Meeting Date    
Agenda Items
January 16, 2024
February 13, 2024
March 19,2024
April 16, 2024
May 15, 2024TBD
June 18, 2024TBD
July 16, 2024TBD
August 13, 2024TBD
September 17-20, 2024Charter Application Hearings
October 15, 2024TBD
November 19, 2024Charter Reviews
December 17-18, 2024Renewal Application Hearings


2023 Charter Authorizing Panel Meeting Schedule

Meeting Date Agenda Items
January 17, 2023CANCELED
February 14, 2023TBD
March 14, 2023CANCELED
April 25, 2023TBD
May 19, 2023TBD
June 13, 2023TBD
July 18, 2023TBD
August 15-17, 2023 Open-Enrollment Application Hearings
September 19, 2023TBD
October 17-18, 2023District Conversion Applications Hearings
November 14, 2023Charter Reviews
December 19-20, 2023Renewal Application Hearings



For more information, please contact:


Dorie Summons, Director of Charter Schools
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
Public School Accountability
Four Capitol Mall, Box 19
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-4472
Fax: 501-683-3433