The Charter School Institute (CSI) began operating in 2004 when the General Assembly passed Part 5 of the Charter School Act, entitled "Charter School Institute Act." This allowed for the creation of an "alternative authorizer" for charter school applicants who hadn't been able to get a school open through their local school district. Prior to the CSI Act, some school districts either refused to accept applications, had a moratorium on the number of charter schools that could operate within their boundaries or simply didn't acknowledge a direct order from the State Board of Education to open a charter school after two successful appeals.
CSI now charters 16 schools and two more are approved but not yet open. Animas HS will open in Durango in the fall and is modeled after San Diego's High Tech High. Provost Academy will be an online program of Edison Learning, Inc.
SB 089, State Charter School Institute, is sponsored by Sen. Keith King and would allow CSI to authorize charter schools of "statewide interest" regardless of the geographical location. Sen. King was formerly on the CSI board where there's been talk of creating various types of charter schools that would generate students from all across the state. SB 089 was probably approved on third reading today and now heads to the House for hearing.