The Alabama Department of Education is giving school systems until September 15 to decide if they want to be a public charter school authorizer. The state originally said districts would have to answer on the charter status by September 1. School systems designated as authorizers would have the power to approve applications for public charter schools. They would also be required to oversee public charter schools in their district. If a school system is not an authorizer, applications go straight to the Alabama Public Charter School Commission. Charter schools are ones that are publicly funded but operate independently from state regulated school systems.