After rejecting a contract for what would have been the district’s first public Montessori charter school, the Madison School Board has started changing its approach to considering charter school applications.

“We have learned that our current policy ... still does not serve us in a sufficiently nimble, concise or user-friendly manner,” district lawyer Dylan Pauly said in an Aug. 10 memo to board members about the proposed changes, which were approved at the board’s Aug. 28 meeting.

Now, if a group wants to start a charter school — whether from scratch, like the district’s two existing charters were created, or by converting a private school into a charter, like Isthmus Montessori Academy (IMA) tried to do — applicants will use a simplified timeline that begins at least two years prior to the proposed charter school opening.

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