Charter schools are expected to open in Alabama next year. Chairman of the Alabama Public Charter School Commission, Ed Richardson, said today that the fall of 2017 is when the first charter school is expected to open in the state. The commission worked on an application template for groups interested in starting charter schools. The template is expected to be approved within a few months. The Alabama Legislature last year approved GOP-backed legislation to allow charter schools in the state for the first time. Anniston City Schools Superintendent Darren Douthitt says his school system already has seven underfunded schools and any additional schools would create a further reduction in resources.