Stimulating the Supply and Building the Capacity of New Schools and School Developers: Recommendations for the Design and Implementation of a New Schools Incubator

June 2000

An increasingly pressing issue impacting the quality of educational services in the United States is the country's growing need for new public schools equipped to meet the unique demands of this generation's students and policy environment. Factors such as enrollment growth, the threat of school reconstitution, the expanding charter school movement, and an increasing preference for small schools all combine to create the demand for new schools.

Creating a new schools incubator, an entirely new organization designed to provide expertise and support to school founders during their planning process, is one solution that may meet the needs of school founders facing the challenges of planning effective new schools.

In order to inform potential school incubator developers, this report examines the viability of creating a new schools incubator and identifies appropriate incubator services. It details the growing need for new schools, the challenges to school start-up, and the theory behind incubation. In addition, this report provides lessons learned from interviews with business incubator directors relevant to the design and planning for a schools incubator. Finally, the paper closes with recommendations for ways school incubator developers can ensure the viability and impact of a new schools incubator.