Thank you for your interest in charter school sponsorship (i.e., authorizing) with the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. We currently sponsor eleven schools throughout the state of Ohio that collectively serve approximately 3,200 students. This page provides information for new school applicants, existing schools seeking to switch sponsors (i.e., assignment), renewal applicants, and applicants that qualify for our expedited application process. The following documents provide additional detail, and please feel free to contact our Dayton office at 937-227-3368 for additional information. 

Sample Application and Information for new school applicants

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation's charter school sponsorship application must be completed via our online application management system, EpiCenter. Applications will not be accepted via hard copy or via email. To obtain a login code for your application, please contact Theda Sampson at

Information for existing schools seeking to switch sponsors

Information for renewal applicants

Information on Fordham's expedited application process

Timeline for New Charter School Applications (schools planning to open in the fall of 2016)


Online application available in EpiCenter application management system.


Deadline to submit application.


Fordham staff and external reviewers evaluate application. The process includes:

  • Content review. Applications that are incomplete or poorly drafted will not be considered.
  • Individual evaluator review. Applications are reviewed by a team of Fordham staff and external application evaluators.
  • Evaluation team debrief meeting. The evaluation team convenes to discuss the application’s strengths and weaknesses, and decide whether to approve an applicant for an interview.

5/1/2015 – 7/15/2015

Interviews conducted, lead summaries finalized.

  • Applicants are interviewed by the evaluation team. Interviews are in-person at Fordham’s Dayton office. Prior to the interview, applicants will receive an agenda of topics to be covered.
  • Following the interview, the team convenes to reach consensus on the application. The team leader subsequently drafts the team’s analysis and submits it to Fordham’s senior sponsorship staff. 

7/15/2015 - 8/15/2015

Developers notified of recommendations.

  • Developers whose applications are not recommended to move forward are notified in writing.
  • Developers whose applications are recommended to move forward are notified by phone or email.

By 9/1/2015

Fordham senior staff notifies the Fordham board’s Ohio committee of applications that are recommended for a sponsorship contract.

By 10/15/2015

Fordham board vote on new school contracts.

By 10/31/2015

Applicants are notified as to whether the Fordham board approved or did not approve the applicant for a sponsorship contract.

By 10/31/2015

Sponsorship contracts drafted.

By 1/31/2016

Drafts sent to school boards for review.

2/1/2016 - 2/28/2016

Agreements finalized, executed and sent to the Ohio Department of Education with contract checklist.

By 3/15/2016