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
  •  Karli Saracini – Assistant Commissioner, Educator Effectiveness and Licensure
  •  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

2023 Charter Authorizing Panel Meeting Schedule

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


  • Charter Authorizing Panel meeting agendas can be found at

  • General Operating Procedures- approved October 18, 2022. 


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