Under the Wisconsin Charter School Law, charter schools may be authorized in three ways.

  1. A charter school may be authorized by a school district pursuant to 118.40(2m). The charter school may be an instrumentality of the school district in which case the school district employs all charter school employees.  Or, the charter school can be a non-instrumentality in which case the school district does not employ any charter school personnel.
  2. A charter school may also be authorized by the following entities:

The common council of the city of Milwaukee
The chancellor of any institution in the University of Wisconsin System
Each technical college district board
Waukesha County Executive
College of Menominee Nation
Lac Courte Orielles Ojibwa Community College

All independent charter schools are considered non-instrumentality schools since the employees of the school are not employed by any school district but are instead employed by the operating organization of the charter school.

  1. Finally, a charter school may be authorized by the UW-System Office of Educational Opportunity. These charter schools are independent charter schools and are considered non-instrumentality schools since the employees of the school are not employed by any school district but are instead employed by the operating organization of the charter school.