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 3,400 students. This page provides information for new school applicants, existing schools seeking to switch sponsors (i.e., assignment), and applicants that qualify for our expedited application process - renewal applicants or high quality school replications or expansions of schools we currently sponsor.  The following documents provide additional detail, and please feel free to contact our Dayton office at 937-227-3368 for additional information. 

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 [email protected].

New School Applicants

To Open in Fall 2017, the online application is available through November 15, 2016.

Sample Application

Information for New School Applicants

Application Timeline - Fall 2017 Opening

Timeline for New School Applicants 



February 17 TBF Board Approval

Opening Fall 2017

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.


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. 

January 3-10, 2017

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.


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


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



Contracts are drafted and sent to school. Note: New school applications must be submitted to ODE by 3/15/2017 for a new school fall open.



Existing Schools

To open in Fall 2017, the online application is available through November 15, 2016.

Information for Existing Schools Seeking to Switch Sponsors (Charter Assignment)


Renewal Applicants

To renew in Fall 2017, the online application will be open August 22 through September 16, 2016.


Expedited Application Process

To open in Fall 2017, current schools sponsored by Fordham who qualify for the expedited application would need to apply by November 30, 2016.

Please contact Fordham's Dayton sponsorship office for details and a custom timeline.