Date: May 31, 2005
Dear County and District Superintendents and Direct-funded Charter School Principals:
This letter highlights information about the impact of Title I, Part A, requirements on charter schools based on the Non-Regulatory Guidance: The Impact of the New Title I Requirements on Charter Schools issued by the United States Department of Education (ED) in July 2004. The guidance is available on the ED Web site .
Charter schools that are part of a local educational agency (LEA) (locally funded charter schools) and charters that are their own LEA (direct-funded charter schools) are subject to the same Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 that are applicable to all public schools. If the charter school receives Title I funds, the Program Improvement (PI) accountability provisions under Section 1116 of Title I, Part A, also apply.
Although a direct-funded charter school is considered to be its own LEA (California Education Code Section 47636(a)(1)), the school will be subject to the PI provisions that apply to schools and not LEAs.
The entity that authorizes a direct-funded or locally funded charter school has responsibility to oversee accountability requirements if the school is identified as PI. School districts, county offices of education, and the State Board of Education (SBE), as authorizers of charter schools, must work closely with the school to ensure that PI requirements are met and that the school receives technical assistance to improve student performance.
The responsibilities that a charter school authorizer must assume when a charter school is identified as PI include the following:
The charter authorizer is responsible in general for holding charter schools accountable to the Title I, Part A, parent involvement provisions, and the highly qualified requirements for teachers and paraprofessionals.
LEA authorizers that receive Title I funds, and direct-funded charter schools as their own LEA, may reserve Title I, Part A, funds on the Consolidated Application (Con App), Part II on the Reservations for Title I, Part A page to cover the costs of required NCLB activities, such as professional development for school staff, parental involvement, and PI mandates.
Direct-funded charter schools can help offset the costs incurred by a charter authorizer that does not receive Title I funds by using the allowable set-aside funds on the Reservations for Title I, Part A, page of the Con App to pay for needed services that are provided by the charter authorizer.
Both locally funded and direct-funded charter schools, in collaboration with the charter authorizer, must provide and pay for supplemental educational services if the schools are identified as PI schools in Years 2-5. Locally funded and direct-funded charter schools that are not in PI are eligible to become supplemental educational services providers.
An LEA with a locally funded charter school that is in PI must provide school choice options with paid transportation to non-PI schools within the LEA. The LEA may list locally funded charter schools that are not in PI as choice options for students transferring from PI schools within the LEA. An LEA may also enter into an agreement with a non-PI direct-funded charter school within its geographic area to allow for student transfers. To the extent practicable, the LEA must enter into an agreement with a neighboring school district if no school choice options are available within the LEA.
If there are no choice options within the LEA, the LEA may also offer supplemental educational services for those students who choose to remain at the school during Year 1. LEAs and schools that choose to offer supplemental educational services during Year 1 are not required to use approved supplemental educational services providers.
Direct-funded charter schools, with the assistance of the charter authorizer, must inform the parents of students enrolled in the school of the option to return to the “home” public school. If the home public school is a PI school, the parent may obtain information about transferring to a non-PI school within the “home” LEA with paid transportation by contacting the “home” LEA.
If parents choose to have their child remain at the school, direct-funded charter schools in Year 1 of PI may also offer supplemental educational services to students who need additional help.
To the extent practicable, the direct-funded charter (as a charter school LEA) must enter into an agreement with a neighboring LEA if no school choice options are available within the “home” LEA or direct-funded charter school.
All charter schools must meet the requirements pertaining to the qualification of teachers under NCLB. Charter school paraprofessionals hired to work in programs supported with Title I, Part A funds must meet the paraprofessional provisions of the law in the same manner as public schools. More information about teacher and paraprofessional requirements can be found on the CDE Web site.
The following are several federal/state Web sites that provide guidance in the following areas:
If you have any questions regarding PI, please contact the School Support and Title I Basic Office at (916) 319-0854 or by e-mail at email@example.com. If you have any questions regarding charter schools, please contact the Charter School Division at (916) 322-6029.
If you have any questions regarding AYP and PI identification, please contact the Evaluation, Research, and Analysis Unit at (916) 319-0875 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.