Charter School Fiscal Management Fiscal Year 2010/11 Presented by: Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) California School Information Services

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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> Charter School Fiscal Management Fiscal Year 2010/11 Presented by: Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) California School Information Services (CSIS) Schools Legal Services </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> Welcome and Introductions Jim Cerreta, CPA, CFE Fiscal Intervention Specialist, FCMAT Bill Hornback Attorney, Schools Legal Services Michelle Plumbtree Chief Management Analyst, FCMAT Gary Quiring Implementation Specialist, FCMAT/CSIS </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> Explanation of Workshop Binder </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> Did you Know? Nationwide, California has the largest number of charter schools serving the largest number of students. There are currently more than 800 charter schools with more than 285,000 students enrolled. Charter schools, though successful in raising student achievement, are closing their doors due to their lack of knowledge about managing the business and fiscal requirements of their schools. CDE data shows nearly two-thirds (65%) of all charter schools that closed since 2004 reported positive trends in API growth and failed for reasons unrelated to successful academic performance. Both the authorizers with oversight responsibility and the charter schools they serve need to better understand and meet their respective responsibilities. </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> What Can We Do? Make sure there is an understanding that: Effective financial management of charter school resources is as important to the success of a charter school as the strength of the curriculum or the dedication of its founders. Collaborative efforts between public schools and charter schools are in the best interest of all of our students; it is essential to understand each others regulatory and reporting environments. The need for effective site-based financial management at charters has never been greater. Sharing best practices to build capacity for effective financial management is a win-win situation. </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> What Is A Charter School? Presented by: Bill Hornback, Counsel, Schools Legal Service Michelle Plumbtree, Chief Management Analyst, FCMAT </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> What Is A Charter School? A public school that operates independently of an existing school district structure and which may provide instruction in any grade or grades, kindergarten through 12. Usually created or organized by a group of teachers, parents, community leaders, a community-based organization, or the school district. Exempt from most laws and regulations governing traditional public schools in exchange for a performance-based accountability contract. </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> What Is A Charter School? (cont.) Except where otherwise specifically required, charter schools in California are generally exempt from state laws governing school districts, whether or not these laws are in the California Education Code. </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> What Is A Charter School? (cont.) Charter schools may be authorized by a district, a county board of education (CBE), or by the California State Board of Education (SBE). Specific goals and operating procedures for the charter school are detailed in an agreement, or "charter." Additional details are often set forth in a memorandum of understanding or MOU. </li> <li> Slide 10 </li> <li> Improve student learning Increase learning opportunities for all students, especially those who are academically low-achieving Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods Create new professional opportunities for teachers What is the Purpose of Charter Schools? </li> <li> Slide 11 </li> <li> Provide parents and students with expanded choice within the public school system Hold schools accountable for meeting measurable performance outcomes Provide competition within the public school system to spur improvement in all schools What is the Purpose of Charter Schools? (cont.) </li> <li> Slide 12 </li> <li> Charter schools are an integral part of the California educational system. The establishment of charter schools should be encouraged. Charter schools are part of the public school system but are free from most of the state laws that apply uniquely to school districts. What is the Legislative Intent? </li> <li> Slide 13 </li> <li> What is the Legislative Intent? (cont.) Charter schools are under the jurisdiction of the public school system and the exclusive control of the officers of the public schools, and are entitled to full and fair funding. The laws governing charter schools are to be liberally construed to effectuate their intent. </li> <li> Slide 14 </li> <li> What Laws Apply to a Charter School? Constitutions, both state and federal The California Charter Schools Act All federal laws (e.g., special education) Laws generally applicable to governmental entities but not specifically aimed at school districts (e.g., open meeting laws) Others listed in the materials </li> <li> Slide 15 </li> <li> What is the Difference Between a Dependent and an Independent Charter School? Traditionally, a Dependent school is your school for all purposes. Traditionally, an Independent school may only be your school for limited purposes. There is a growing trend among school districts to mix things up. </li> <li> Slide 16 </li> <li> What is a Conversion Charter School? When an existing school site is converted into a charter school, whether an independent or dependent charter school, the school is likely to be considered a conversion charter school. </li> <li> Slide 17 </li> <li> Other Important Considerations LEA Status Classroom- or Non-classroom-based instruction Countywide Charters no appeal of a denial, but there is appeal of a non-renewal or revocation Statewide Charters may no longer exist after the case of CSBA v. SBE (Aspire) </li> <li> Slide 18 </li> <li> Charter School Petitions and Renewals Presented by: Bill Hornback, Counsel, Schools Legal Service </li> <li> Slide 19 </li> <li> Charter Petitions and Renewals Have a policy in place Identify possible resources for assistance, as needed Be aware of whats going on around you Petitioner meetings? Taking it to another level... Resolving disputes, dissatisfaction, resistance to change NOW, before it becomes a charter topic. Before the Storm </li> <li> Slide 20 </li> <li> Charter Petitions and Renewals (cont.) Schedule and hold a public hearing Review the petition Vote on whether or not to grant the petition Adopt findings of fact upon which a denial is going to be based If granted, adopt an MOU If granted, begin supervisorial oversight What Are My Legal Obligations? </li> <li> Slide 21 </li> <li> Charter Petitions and Renewals (cont.) The charter school presents an unsound educational program for the pupils who are to be enrolled in the charter school. The petitioners are demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program set forth in the petition. The petition does not contain the required number of signatures. What are the Grounds for Petition Denial? </li> <li> Slide 22 </li> <li> Charter Petitions and Renewals (cont.) The petition does not contain an affirmation of each of the required conditions. The petition does not contain reasonably comprehensive descriptions of all of the required elements. What are the Grounds for Petition Denial? (cont.) </li> <li> Slide 23 </li> <li> Charter Petitions and Renewals (cont.) Grant the petition Grant the petition with conditions before commencing operations Conditionally grant the petition Deny the petition after adopting fact findings What are the Possible Vote Results? </li> <li> Slide 24 </li> <li> Charter Petitions and Renewals (cont.) Immediately upon receiving a petition... In the first week... In the first 30 days... In the first 60 days... Taking it to the next level consider results of an appeal / grant on appeal... After the fact - Going into competition? There is a Timeline, and the Clock is Ticking </li> <li> Slide 25 </li> <li> Charter Petitions and Renewals (cont.) Can the reviewing agency revise the petition? Can the reviewing agency suggest improvements? Is there any obligation to do either? What happens in the perfect world? Revisions to the Petition </li> <li> Slide 26 </li> <li> Charter Petitions and Renewals, cont. Budget, budget, budget problems indicate likely failure Conflicts of interest, could be illegality Motivated by something other than students best interests likely problems ahead High level of parental / community support success! Cloning / conversion of an existing, working program also indicates likely success What are the Indications of Success / Failure? </li> <li> Slide 27 </li> <li> Required Petition Elements Unsound educational program Demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the educational program Insufficient signatures Missing affirmations / assurances Missing a reasonably comprehensive description of a required element of the petition What are the Grounds for Denial of a Petition? </li> <li> Slide 28 </li> <li> Required Petition Elements (cont.) The petition must include affirmations on all required subjects, including: Nonsectarian in all operations No tuition Not deny enrollment to special needs pupils Meet statewide standards and assessments Declare who is the exclusive public employer What About Affirmations? </li> <li> Slide 29 </li> <li> Required Petition Elements (cont.) The petition must include affirmations on all required subjects, including: No discrimination based on protected categories No discrimination based on residence Require appropriate credentials or other documents Others, as noted in materials What About Affirmations? (cont.) </li> <li> Slide 30 </li> <li> Required Petition Elements (cont.) The code requires signatures of various kinds in various situations The SBE counts signatures at the time of submission, not looking at anything else or any time else Some agencies validate each signature Some agencies reject the petition before review if signatures are believed to be invalid or insufficient What About Signatures? </li> <li> Slide 31 </li> <li> Required Petition Elements (cont.) There are no rules binding on school districts or county boards of education The only rules are only binding on the State Board of Education You get to decide what is reasonably comprehensive Must be factually-based to become a reason for petition denial Reasonably Comprehensive Description </li> <li> Slide 32 </li> <li> Required Petition Elements (cont.) If there is an issue with a required element, the factual basis behind that issue may be a basis for denial. The same facts may also show that the petition presents an unsound educational program. The same facts may also show that the petitioners are unlikely to successfully implement their program. The same facts may be used to show that all the above matters are true Description Issues and Results </li> <li> Slide 33 </li> <li> List of Required Petition Elements A description of the educational program of the school, including the transferability of courses and meeting college entrance requirements Measurable pupil outcomes The method by which pupil progress is to be measured The governance structure of the school </li> <li> Slide 34 </li> <li> List of Required Petition Elements (cont.) Employee qualifications Health and safety procedures, including a criminal record summary on employees Plan for achieving a pupil racial and ethnic balance reflective of the general population of the district Admission requirements, if any </li> <li> Slide 35 </li> <li> List of Required Petition Elements (cont.) The manner in which independent financial audits shall be conducted Procedures by which pupils can be suspended or expelled. The application of STRS, PERS or federal social security. Public school attendance alternatives </li> <li> Slide 36 </li> <li> List of Required Petition Elements (cont.) District employee rights upon leaving/returning to the district Dispute resolution procedures A declaration of whether or not the school is the exclusive public school employer A description of the school closure procedures </li> <li> Slide 37 </li> <li> What About Appeals? There are no rules You do not have to do anything You can participate in the process at any point, if you want to. Your agency has no legal standing in the appeals process Possible court action if no action taken on appeal If Your Agency Has Denied A Petition </li> <li> Slide 38 </li> <li> There is a time line for action County boards of education are required by regulations to either grant or deny the appeal The State Board of Education is only required by regulations to schedule an agenda item for granting or denying, no apparent obligation to actually vote There is no appeal from denial of a countywide charter petition If Your Agency Has Received A Petition On Appeal What About Appeals? (cont.) </li> <li> Slide 39 </li> <li> The law presumes some changes will have to be made. There is no rule preventing any changes beyond those necessary. The reviewing agency on appeal may do exactly what you could have done on initial review. The exact same petition that you denied may be found on appeal to be properly granted. What About Changes During Appeal? </li> <li> Slide 40 </li> <li> Charter Renewal Any charter may be renewed, if it meets the requirements for renewal. All renewals are for a period of five years. Renewal petitions must be reviewed using the same standards as an original petition + new laws. Denial of renewal may be appealed. Denial of a countywide charter renewal may be appealed </li> <li> Slide 41 </li> <li> Charter Renewal (cont.) Met statutory API growth target Ranked in deciles 4-10 on the API Ranked in deciles 4-10 on the API for a comparable school The granting agency determines that the academic performance of the school meets a set standard Has qualified for an alternative accountability system What are the Renewal Requirements? </li> <li> Slide 42 </li> <li> Charter Renewal (cont.) Should not be automatic and should be timed so that no one is inconvenienced by lack of time, including time to appeal any denial of renewal </li> <li> Slide 43 </li> <li> Financial Management and Solvency Presented by: Jim Cerreta, Fiscal Intervention Specialist, FCMAT </li> <li> Slide 44 </li> <li> Charter School Finance in California </li> <li> Slide 45 </li> <li> Funding Mechanism - Direct or Local Funding Direct funded = from the state Locally funded = through chartering authority Either way, funding should be equitable relative to that received by traditional school districts </li> <li> Slide 46 </li> <li> General Purpose Entitlement Largest source of unrestricted charter school revenue Funded on enrollment or Average Daily Attendance (ADA) protection for declining enrollment? Not in California 2010-11 funding reduced by 18.355% deficit, -.39% COLA and an additional 3.85% reduction in California </li> <li> Slide 47 </li> <li> General Purpose Entitlement (cont.) Funded by a combination of: state aid local property taxes (in li...</li></ul>

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