A charter school is basically an independently operated public school that has greater flexibility in its mode of operations, in return for greater accountability for performance. A charter school system is a local school district that operates under the terms of a charter between the State Board of Education and the local school district.
The system receives flexibility from certain state rules and regulations in exchange for greater accountability with greater emphasis on school-based leadership and decision-making. The real deal in starting this business is securing a facility that is large enough to accommodate the number of students you want to admit, staff office, lab rooms, sports center and enough parking space.
Although opening a charter school can be considered to be capital intensive, but if you know how to manage the business, you are sure going to make huge returns on your investment especially if you have been an active educational advocate in your community.
It is worthy to mention that starting your own charter school is not an easy task to accomplish. It requires a complete project team and solid capital base. As a matter of fact, it requires long term planning to successfully build a charter school from the scratch to finish. But if you don’t have enough time to spend, you can as well source for charter schools that are put up for sale.
Estimated Cost of Opening a Charter School
When it comes to starting a charter school the major areas that you look towards spending the bulk of your cash is in renting or leasing a standard facility and equipping the facility. These are the key areas where you will spend our startup capital;
- The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $3,300.
- Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of the charter school in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
- The total cost for hiring a business consultant including writing a business plan – $2,500.
- The total cost for the purchase of insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
- Acquiring a large facility that will accommodate the number of block of closes, playing field, staff offices and parking lots et al (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) will cost – $350,000.
- Equipping the classes and office (computers, printers, projectors, markers, pens and pencils, furniture, telephones, filing cabinets, and electronics) will cost – $50,000
- Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $50,000
- The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $4,750
- The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $2,000
- The cost of launching a website: $600
- Miscellaneous: $2,000
From the rough estimate as listed above, you would need a minimum of five hundred and eighty – seven thousand seven hundred and eighty USD ($587,380) to establish a medium – scale but standard charter school business in the United States of America. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first three months of operation.
Please note that this is a rough estimate and we usually advise our readers who are interested in opening a charter school to directly contact experts and suppliers of the types of equipment, furniture and stuffs they want to have in their school in order to get the real time prices of these items.
The truth is that, if you are a good bargainer, you can get a better deal that will help you beat down the estimated price as listed above. Having said that, here are some of the general factors that will influence the cost of opening a charter school in the United States of America;
Factors That Determine the Cost of Starting a Charter School Business
1. The Type of Charter School
A major factor that will determine the overall cost of opening a charter school in the United States of America is the type of school the owner wants to start. There are different types charter school especially as it relates to the age group the school is supposed to carter for.
The Charter Schools industry comprises of primary, that is kindergarten through sixth grade, and secondary, that is seventh through 12th grade. We also have different categories such as independent schools.
Although, all independent schools are charter schools, and these terms are often used interchangeably, but technically independent schools are all overseen by a board of governors or trustees, whilst other charter schools may be run by their owner with no governing body.
Another major factor that will determine the cost of opening a charter school in the United States of America is the location you want to locate the school. In business, location is key part of what determines the success of the business.
As a matter of fact, there are business consultants cum realtors who are specialized in helping people choose an ideal location for their type of business; a location that will guarantee them to profitability. So, you will now agree that location can influence the cost of starting a charter school business not just in the United States of America but anywhere in the world.
For example, renting or leasing a charter school facility in a location that is off the city center or off residential estate will be less expensive when compared to renting or leasing a charter school facility in a well – populated residential estate.
3. The Required Licenses and Permits
In the United States of America, you cannot open a charter school without first applying for the mandatory licenses and permits. You would need accreditation certificate, building license, zonal permits, and signage permits amongst others. As expected, these license and permits cost money and it will influence the overall cost of opening your charter school.
Please note that there may be several inspections you must pass before you can be issued your licenses and permits. In order to get the overall cost of licensing and permits associated with opening a new charter school in the United States, we will advise that you reach out to your city government. You also need to consider state and federal requirements.
4. The Type of Facility
The type of facility you want to run your charter school business from is also a major factor that will determine the overall cost of opening a charter school in the United States of America. As regards the facility, you have the option of renting, leasing or designing and constructing your own charter school facility from the scratch.
With renting and leasing a facility, you might just have to spend extra cost to modify the facility to fit into the picture of what you have in mind; the number of offices, waiting room, assembly hall, playing space and dining halls and classrooms you want to have in your facility. Let us assume that you want to construct your charter school facility from the scratch.
It means that you will buy the land or a property, bring up your design and of course construct and equip the charter school facility to fit into the kind of school you have in mind. With that, you will agree that you are going to spend way more when compared to people that rent or lease a facility. This indeed will greatly influence the overall cost of opening your charter school.
5. Additional Services Offerings
Another key factor that will determine the cost of opening and operating a charter school in the United States of America is the additional service offerings of the school. Charter schools are designed to offer different services. By default, charter schools are funded in whole or in part by charging their students tuition fees, rather than relying on mandatory taxation through public (government) funding.
But some charter schools have structures in place that offer scholarships to students, which makes the cost cheaper, depending on talent such as sport, art, academic scholarship, etc. In essence, some of the services you are going to be offering will cost you more hence you must increase your budget for opening a charter school.
6. The Number of Students They Want to Admit
Another very important factor that determines the cost of opening a charter school is the number of students they intend accommodating or admitting per time. There are standard charter schools that have the capacity to accommodate over 100 students per time and there are others that can accommodate less than 100 students per time.
Aside from the cost of renting or leasing the facility to accommodate the number of students and staff, it will also cost you more to furnish and equip the school.
7. The Cost of Hiring and Paying a Business Consultant and Attorney
If you want to get your business started on the right foundation, it will be a wise decision to hire the services of a competent business consultant and perhaps an attorney. A business consultant will help with drafting a workable business plan document for the charter school, a marketing plan, SWOT analysis, and other advisory services.
An attorney will help you with registering the business, drafting contract documents and offer you all the legal expertise that will help you start the business on the right foundation. These services will cost you money and it will indeed influence the overall cost of opening a charter school in the United States of America.
8. The Cost for Branding, Promotion and Marketing of the Charter School
The cost for branding, promoting and marketing the charter school is yet another key factor that will determine the overall cost of opening a school in the United States of America. Trust me, if you need massive results as it relates to competing and winning a fair share of the available market in your city, then you must be willing to pay for effective branding, promotion and marketing of your new charter school.
It is not cheap to come by an expert in branding, promotion and marketing that will help you compete with brands that are already determining the market direction in your city. So, if you add the cost of paying a branding and marketing expert, it will sure increase the cost of opening your charter school.
9. The Cost for Furnishing and Equipping the Charter School
Another very important factor that will determine the cost of opening a charter school is the cost for furnishing and equipping the charter school facility. You will quite agree that aside from the basic facilities that are expected to be found in a charter school, an investor that wants to open a charter school may decide to spend more than expected to furnish the facility to look unique.
Before you can open a charter school, you should budget and buy school chairs and tables, projectors, flat screen TVs, sound system, DVD players,
Satellite dish and decoder, office furniture (table, stools and sofas), drawers and cabinets, telephones, filing cabinets, educational resources, office equipment (cash register, security and fire alarm and protection gadgets, CCTV, ventilation, signage), and sports equipment and wares amongst others. All these will cost money and it will influence the overall cost of opening your charter school.
The cost for paying for insurance policy cover is yet another important factor that will determine the overall cost of opening a charter school in the United States. Interestingly, in the United States, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy cover such as liability insurance, and general insurance et al that are required by the industry you want to operate from.
Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy cover and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.
11. The Cost for Registering the Business
The cost for registering a charter school business is yet another cost that will influence the overall cost of opening a charter school in the United States of America. Although, the cost of registering a business is affordable, it will no doubt add to the overall cost of opening the charter school.
12. Source of Your Supplies and Ongoing Expenses
Another major factor that will determine the cost of opening a charter school in the United States of America is the source of your supplies.
For example, if you have access to manufacturers of the type of books, stationery and educational support materials and toiletries that you would need, it will sure cut down the cost of running the charter school as against buying your books, stationery and toiletries from retailers.
The fact that you are opening your charter school as a new business means that you are expected to recruit and train your staff to conform to the kind of school you want to operate. The training will help you sell the corporate culture of your organization to the new employees. As expected, it will cost you money to hire expert trainers that will help you train and bring your new hires up to speed.
14. The Cost for the Purchase and Customizing of Uniforms, Shoes and Caps for Your Employees
Another factor that will determine the overall cost of opening a charter school business in the United States is the cost of purchase and customizing of uniforms, shoes, and caps amongst others. All these uniforms will cost you money which is why it must be part of your budget if you are looking towards opening a charter school.
15. The Cost for Grand Opening of the Charter School
No charter school opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. This means that the cost of grand opening of a charter school is part of the factors that will determine the overall cost of opening the business in the United States of America.
You can choose to do a soft opening if you operate on a low budget or you can go for grand opening party. The bottom line is that it is a cost that must be part of your budget and this cost will influence the overall cost of opening the charter school in the United States of America.
Please note that there are other factors not listed above that will sure influence the overall cost of opening your charter school which is why we will advise that you work with a result driven business consultant in your city to give you the needed guide and info as it relates to the unique factors in your location that will influence the overall cost of opening your charter school in the United States of America.