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ACCS Meeting Notes for April 6, 2010

Meeting notes taken at the ACCS meeting on April 6, 2010.

Advisory Commission on Charter Schools
An Advisory Body to the State Board of Education


California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Room 1101
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Beth Hunkapiller, Chair
Dr. Vicki Barber
Brian Bauer
Dr. Paul Cartas
Gary Davis (Absent)
Mark Kushner
Corri Ravare
Michelle Ruskofsky*

Curtis L. Washington (Absent)

*Michelle Ruskofsky is the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s designee.

Principal Staff to the Advisory Commission

Iqbal Badwalz, Consultant, CDE Charter Schools Division
Julie Klein Briggs, Consultant, CDE Charter Schools Division
Angela Duvane, Staff Services Analyst, CDE Charter Schools Division
Bonnie Galloway, Consultant, CDE Charter Schools Division
Darrell Parsons, Consultant, CDE Charter Schools Division

Call to Order

Chair Hunkapiller called the meeting to order at 10:07 a.m.

Flag Salute

Dr. Cartas led the members, staff, and audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Welcome and Introductions

Chair Hunkapiller announced Carol Barkley's retirement. Mr. Kushner announced that he would recuse himself from item 6 (consideration of the Flex Academy charter petition). Dr. Cartas will recuse himself from portions of item 9 (funding determinations).

Agenda Order

Chair Hunkapiller announced that the agenda order had been revised. After hearing item 2, items 9, 3, and 6 would be heard. Chair Hunkapiller announced that item 6 would also be moved.


Chair Hunkapiller called for public comment.


Item 1: Schedule June 2010, August 2010, and February 2011 Meeting Dates.

Chair Hunkapiller invited Ms. Ruskofsky to review the item. The dates confirmed were June 16, 2010, August 18, 2010, and February 10, 2011.

Item 2: California Department of Education Projects and Priorities – to include, but not be limited to, the Public Charter Schools Grant Program (PCSGP), the Charter Schools Facility Grant Program, and the Commencement of a Charter Schools Nutrition Program Audit.

Ms. Ruskofsky reviewed updates regarding the state’s PCSGP application to the U.S. Department of Education. The application is due on May 7, 2010. Ms. Ruskofsky also stated that the Legislative Audit Committee announced an audit on February 17, 2010, of Child Nutrition Programs administered by charters schools throughout the state. Ms. Ruskofsky reviewed the terms and conditions of the audit.

Item 3: Jacoby Creek Charter School District: Consideration of Petition to Renew Districtwide Charter.

(Heard fourth on the agenda.)

Ms. Galloway presented the item and reviewed the staff report, including school scores. The CDE recommended approval of the petition as the district had met all four of the requirements for renewal. Chair Hunkapiller asked for public comments. Hearing none, Chair Hunkapiller called for a motion.

  • ACTION: Mr. Kushner made a motion to approve the staff recommendation to recommend renewal of the Jacoby Creek Charter School District petition for renewal to the SBE. Dr. Cartas seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously by a vote of seven in favor and none opposed.
Item 4: Petition for Establishment of a Charter School Under the Oversight of the State Board of Education: Consideration of the Piru Charter School Petition Which Was Denied by the Fillmore Unified School District and the Ventura County Board of Education.

(Heard fifth on the agenda.)

Mr. Parsons announced that a translator was present for this item.

Mr. Parsons then presented the item to the commissioners and reviewed the staff report, including school scores. He stated that Piru Charter School (PCS) petition has met all requirements for establishing a charter.

Chair Hunkapiller clarified the process for giving public comment and stated that petitioners have 15 minutes to present their comments. The representatives from the district and county then have 15 minutes to present their comments. Following the presentations by both sides, public comments can be given, but public speaking time will be based on the number of speakers who wish to speak on this item.

Dr. Barber asked for current district and county ADA numbers. Mr. Parsons deferred to Julie Klein-Briggs with the CDE’s Charter Schools Division. Ms. Klein-Briggs did not have these numbers on hand.

Dr. Barber spoke of her concern, due to parent opposition, regarding whether the charter school’s enrollment projections of 386 students is a reasonable projection. Dr. Barber asked if there has been an in-depth analysis on the fiscal impact to this charter school if enrollment does not materialize as expected. Ms. Klein-Briggs stated that CDE based its review on the charter petitioner’s projections of 386 students. Mr. Parsons stated that CDE did ask this of the school and the school assured CDE that they have projection plans (including outreach) if the projected enrollment is not met. Mr. Parsons stated that the petitioners could speak regarding the details of these plans when it is their turn to speak. Dr. Barber asked Mr. Parsons if he was satisfied with the budget presented by the petitioners, and whether the budget is sound and viable if the school has less than 100 students. He responded there is no reason to believe that they will not meet enrollment, but the CDE can require a contingency budget if requested.

Chair Hunkapiller invited representatives from PCS to present to the ACCS. Richard Durborow, lead PCS petitioner, stated that charter flexibility will allow them to improve student learning in this current fiscal crisis.

Mr. Durborow introduced Chris Pavik, a 22-year veteran teacher at Piru Elementary School. He stated that they arranged for Piru parents to meet with Fenton Avenue Charter School parents and reported that it has been a good experience for both groups. PCS has recently been given, and has accepted, the opportunity to join the CCSA accountability pilot.  

Joe Lucente, founding director of the Fenton Avenue Charter School, also addressed the ACCS. He spoke about how PCS representatives saw how Fenton was run, and a “spark” was born to convert Piru to charter status because the demographics were similar. Fenton is a conversion school that was once considered one of the worst schools and worst maintained site in its district. Now, Fenton is a distinguished school and recognized by the White House as a successful conversion school. When Fenton started, they were told that they would have low enrollment due to rumors in the community. The school opened with 990 students. The economic climate is similar to what it was in 1992 when they opened. As a result of their charter status, they were able to reduce class size, hire specialists to improve student learning, and to this day, have not increased class size and have not reduced staff. Mr. Lucente believes this would be the same in the case of PCS. PCS has asked the Fenton staff to mentor them through this process.

Chair Hunkapiller asked for questions from the ACCS commissioners.

Mr. Bauer asked about attendance boundaries and Mr. Durborow confirmed that students in the area could opt out. The 2010–11 school year shows a 100-student increase. There may be some uncertainty because the district has declining enrollment. PCS has stated that they anticipate 350 students staying and that there is an interest to fulfill enrollment from 40 families living outside the area, students from the Little Red School, and a new housing complex in the Piru area. In reference to the petition, there are 224 opposing the charter.

Mr. Bauer asked Mr. Lucente his opinion on petitioners’ ability balance their budget. Mr. Lucente stated that, regardless of the parents who say they are not going to enroll their children, once they see the school in operation and that all the negative things they have been told are not true, they will stay and will tell their neighbors. In his experience with conversion charters, enrollment stays steady or increases. Mr. Kushner asked for clarification that this would be the only school in this geographic area, and Mr. Lucente confirmed that it was. Regarding the budgets, Mr. Lucente stated that if ADA goes up or down, that the budget is a living document that can be adjusted accordingly.

Dr. Cartas asked for clarification on the 380 number given for enrollment. He asked if this number was confirmed or an estimate from parents expressing interest in the school. Mr. Durborow stated it was an estimate.

Ms. Ravare asked if petitioners had received approval on their facility, or was this something that they would have to work out with the district.

Janelle Ruley (Middleton, Young & Minney) stated yes, petitioners would have access to the existing Piru Elementary School facility for the first year. After that, they would ask for facilities under Proposition 39.

Dr. Barber asked if it has been confirmed that a cash loan of $350,000 for cash flow has been secured. Jessica Norman from ExED stated that it had not, that it is difficult to get a loan for a school that does not exist. Petitioners, however, have a letter of interest from a local bank to loan the school up to $500,000. A copy of that letter was provided to the CDE.

Dr. Barber stated that the budget shows a bus and one driver, and asked if this is sufficient for the transfer of students. Ms. Norman stated that it was sufficient as the school currently has just one bus transporting students, which makes two runs.

Chair Hunkapiller asked what outreach would be made to the community given the opposition that has been expressed so far. Rita Aguilla, representing PCS petitioners, stated that parents and petitioners have held regular meetings to offer information. PCS has circulated materials to residents in the area and have a radio spot coming up next week to inform the community. Ida Ramirez, a mother of three children in Piru, has been in contact with Ventura County Parks and Recreation to get funding for a summer program to bring the community back together. Ms. Ramirez stated there are many companies who are willing to do outreach with them.

Chair Hunkapiller asked the petitioners to come forward and explain how the outreach should be done. Mr. Lucente stated that the outreach begins as soon as the charter is approved and that every means available should be used to inform the community about the charter school. Mr. Durborow said that once the petition has been approved, the outreach will grow and that they will continue to make a concerted effort to let the community know that the charter school is going to open and that it will be there for the community.

Mr. Cartas asked what the line item in their budget was for all these advertisements. A parent responded that the local newspapers have been printing announcements for low or no charge. Chair Hunkapiller asked if they would have town hall gatherings and other meetings to make themselves available to the community, to which petitioners answered yes.

Chair Hunkapiller asked the district that denied the petition, Fillmore Unified School District, to speak on the denial. Jeff Sweeney, Superintendent of the district, spoke, stating that they believe the approval of this appeal would take away parent choice and ignore parent input in the community. Their board voted 5-0 to deny the petition. The district and the Ventura County Board of Education were able to see the level of parent opposition to this petition. Mr. Sweeney stated the ACCS is witnessing the same thing. He stated that hundreds of parents and district employees have traveled to this ACCS meeting so that their opposition to this charter school could be heard. The petitioners have stated that the charter provides a much-needed choice for the Piru community. Piru is located in a remote area and contains only one kindergarten through grade six school. Despite the outreach that the petitioners have done, the families of Piru do not want to have the school converted. Mr. Sweeney noted that approval of this charter is unsound and presents an unwanted upset to the students and parents who do not want this charter. Mr. Sweeney stated that the petitioners have submitted enrollment forms for 140 students. Of the 140 forms submitted, they have confirmed that 60 of those parents have withdrawn their intent to enroll. Mr. Sweeney stated that one advantage they have is that they are able to see and review the letters submitted by the petitioners. They had staff and parents review the 104 letters of support submitted to the CDE. Of those, only 14 are letters from current students of Piru.

Dr. Bush from Fillmore Unified School District spoke. He stated the budget was flawed, that teacher salaries are underestimated by 5 percent for teachers on site and by 10 percent compared to teachers in the district. Currently, one third of the students from Piru are bussed from rural communities. The $54,000 estimated for busing equals $300 per day. Regarding special education, the SELPA does not provide for special education revenue for their first year. Currently, the district spends in excess of $20,000 per special ed student. The petitioners have stated they will have a migrant counselor and migrant services, but have not budgeted for this service. Dr. Bush stated that enrollment is overstated; that there is a new housing development in town but the development would only add 25 students, and the developer does not expect to start development this year. Having visited both the Fenton Avenue Charter School and Piru campuses, Dr. Bush stated they are radically different and that Los Angeles Unified School District is radically different from Fillmore Unified School District. In addition to not securing the $350,000 loan, both state deferrals are still in the budget. Taking those into account, the school will have a $500,000 deficit.

The next speaker was an attorney with the Fillmore Unified School District. She stated a charter budget is to include STRS and PERS contributions, and which employees will be counted under each category, but the PCS budget does not.

Kate Hadley, Assistant Superintendent with Fillmore Unified School District, said there is nothing new and innovative in the petition, and that it will remove choice for parents. Migrant services will be interrupted if Piru becomes a charter. The program will impact the enrollment of students.

At this point, Chair Hunkapiller invited questions from the commissioners.

Ms. Ravare asked the district how they plan to educate the 200 students who will not be enrolled in the charter school. Dr. Bush stated they currently have 135 students that are bussed and the services will continue. He also stated they have ten classrooms available for these students.

Dr. Barber stated that if there are no other K-6 schools, the parents will have no choice but to attend. Mr. Sweeney said that question could be answered by the parents. Dr. Bush named two elementary schools within six miles. Currently, there are four buses that bus the children to all of the elementary schools in the district. Dr. Barber asked if they have just one bus that serves the elementary students. Dr. Bush confirmed and said the bus does three routes. Dr. Barber asked if their estimate that teacher’s salaries were underestimated by 5-10 percent was based on current salaries, or does it include a COLA? Dr. Bush said that was based on numbers provided by the school.

Dr. Barber addressed information presented regarding special education. Dr. Bush said they will not receive Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds or federal funds, as that is based on prior year data. Dr. Barber said that federal dollars are based on prior year, but state funds are not. Dr. Bush disagreed, and Dr. Barber offered to speak with him after the meeting on the subject.

Dr. Barber asked Dr. Bush, in terms of the $350,000 cash flow, if payments on that cash flow were included in the PCS budget. Dr. Bush said that it was for years two, three, and four, but not year one. She then asked if the estimated negative $500,000 cash flow was confirmed by Ventura COE. Dr. Bush was not comfortable answering that question. Dr. Barber said she that was a significant figure. Dr. Bush said that that does not take into account the letter they received recently regarding the two deferrals. Dr. Barber said they will not be alone, as all schools are being deferred.

Mr. Bauer stated that he was in conflict because, in his experience with charter schools for the last 15 years, the petition does meet the conditions. He asked the superintendent why the county does not want the charter, and whether it is based on the parent opinion or if it was something else. Mr. Sweeney replied that the question should be asked of the parents. 

Mr. Kushner said that he feels this charter does meet the criteria for conversion and stated that he felt the educational program is based on sound educational principles. 

He asked the superintendent “what is really going on here?” and that it would be helpful to know what the real issue is. 

Mr. Bauer asked how many students were opting to attend a private school, home school or any other option, and Mr. Sweeney stated that for the 2010–11

school year, they have a cap of 3 percent, or 120 students. He has signed off on 70 students for the 2010–11 school year. Mr. Bauer stated he would like some clarification on a document submitted to the ACCS by the district with the signatures of 224 parents opposing the charter and asked if they were parents of Piru students.

Chair Hunkapiller asked Mr. Sweeney if the school was not chartered, would the district see a decline in enrollment. Mr. Sweeney replied that, with the divisiveness of the subject, it will take time to rebuild trust. Based on what he has heard from the parents and key members of the community, they would keep the status quo. The school has had many generations of students in the community and one of the things that they would do is bring in a mediator to try to rebuild the trust in the community. Chair Hunkapiller asked how they would work with the current staff if the school is not chartered, and Mr. Sweeney said they would bring in a professional mediator and bring the parent groups and the teachers together to talk about the issues. 

Chair Hunkapiller called for a break at 1:15 p.m. after which they would hear public comments.

The meeting resumed at 1:35 p.m.

Chair Hunkapiller asked that if speakers wish to state the same fact or opinion as a previous speaker, that they simply state their name, affiliation, and state that they agree with previous comments. She encouraged speakers to feel free to give up their speaking time so that others may present short videos, or extended public comment. Chair Hunkapiller instructed speakers to line up in groups of five to ten so that there would be no delay.

Approximately 38 Piru community members, parents, and teachers were present and spoke in opposition to PCS.16 Piru community members, parents, and teachers were present and spoke in support of PCS. Colin Miller, representing the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) spoke in support of the CDE staff recommendation to approve the PCS charter.

Chair Hunkapiller stated she spent hours reading the letters and knows it is difficult for parents and commissioners as well. PCS Petitioners were then invited to come forward to complete their presentations in the seven minutes remaining.

Susan Jolly, a literacy coach at Piru, spoke about all the great things that have been offered to the children including a field trip for all students to a local college and a camping trip. They have improved the school from a decile 1 school to passing test scores. Parents are very much involved in the creation of the charter. She has spoken to many parents against the charter and has been told incorrect information by them. The reason why flyers were left on porches in the community is because of the hostility from parents.

At 3:01 p.m., Chair Hunkapiller called for a ten-minute break.

At 3:17, Chair Hunkapiller calls the meeting back to order. She clarified that the ACCS only advises the SBE and looks at the elements of what is required for a charter. Chair Hunkapiller asks the ACCS to name some of the issues of concern.

Dr. Barber expressed her concerns regarding four issues: 1) financial issues; 2) special education services and the ability to implement them; 3) parent opposition as it applies to implementation; and 4) Ventura COE board issues raised against the charter. Because of these issues, she has serious concerns about whether she should recommend approval. Dr. Barber stated that she thinks that the ACCS tries to evaluate the temperament and culture of school boards as they come to them. She knows the history of Ventura COE and that they are not opposed to charter schools; therefore, it concerns her that Ventura did not approve Piru’s charter. In addition, in the time she has been on the ACCS, she has not seen so many parents appear to oppose a charter school. Regardless of the result today and at the SBE, she feels there needs to be healing in the community. 

Chair Hunkapiller asked if there were other issues that the commissioners would like to discuss. Dr. Cartas stated he has the same issues as Dr. Barber.

Before addressing the commissioners, Mr. Bauer thanked the parents for showing their commitment to the community, and that regardless of what happens, he hopes there will be a way to heal. He stated that it is not whether Piru is a good school, or other schools in the area are good. For the commission, it is four or five elements that are met by law. To him, the petitioners have met the requirements of a sound and comprehensive program. He would like to see the petitioners start over and go work with the community to reunite. He feels they can implement the program.

Ms. Ravare thanked the parents who were there, whether they were for or against the school, for their sacrifice to take the time to come and make their feelings heard. She expressed her hope that one day they can speak to each other parent-to-parent and neighbor-to-neighbor. Ms. Ravare stated she wished that the petitioners had put together a budget that addressed enrollment issues, as that is a concern. However, she feels that it is a comprehensive plan and that they have met the 16 elements.

Dr. Cartas expressed his sadness for the divisiveness of the community, and encouraged them to work hard to move forward. He stated that he sees a lot of petitioners with good intent and heart and usually those are good indicators. Frequently charters fail because they do not have an understanding of the complex nature of the financial side of charter schools. He expressed concern about the budget. He would have liked to see a conservative budget presented. He expressed concern with the loan and grant anticipations. He is not sure that the petitioners are realistic about their budget. With that, along with the division in the community, he feels that the enrollment is unlikely, and does not think they can implement their program effectively.

Chair Hunkapiller stated she believes that the enrollment numbers may be stronger than what they are hearing and is inclined to trust teachers that are willing to take a 10 percent salary reduction and risk the loss of their union to do what they believe will raise scores for students in their school. In a difficult budget climate, teachers who want to affect change will not be able to do so without a governance structure where parents are able to have a say in how funds are spent on their children. She continued:  We cannot assure migrant education services for charter schools, but the petitioners have done everything they can to assure that these services continue, along with free and reduced lunch, and provide good special education services. If the SBE approves this charter, the choice of quality would depend on the parents, the school staff and the community. Chair Hunkapiller recommended that conditions be put in place for more community outreach. She was not willing to take a position that rules out the possibility that this conversion could be a good thing based on fear. Several of the commissioners have said the 16 elements have been met, although there has not been a discussion amongst them.

Mr. Bauer supported the CDE recommendation, not because the PCS petition was perfect, or because he would have done it differently. He is confident that with strong leadership at the school, district, and community, that healing can take place.

Chair Hunkapiller asked for a motion.

  • Motion: Mr. Bauer made a motion to approve the staff recommendation to recommend approval of the PCS petition to the SBE, with the following conditions: 1) the petitioner submit and the CDE reviews a revised budget reflecting lower enrollment figures; 2) the petitioners submit a proposal to strengthen the measurable pupil outcomes in the PCS charter; and 3) the petitioners submit a proposal for “quality outreach efforts to bring the community together.” Mr. Kushner seconded the motion.

Dr. Barber stated she would not support the motion because there are so many issues involved with the petition. Enrollment was certainly a concern for her, but also there is no guarantee that petitioners will receive a loan. In her opinion, they are not at a level to recommend approval. 

Mr. Cartas stated that the PCS petition does not rise to the level of other schools that they have recommended to the SBE in the past. In addition, oversight of the school could create an unknown burden on CDE staff.

  • Action: The motion was approved by a vote of five in favor, and two opposed.
Item 5: Petition for Establishment of a Charter School Under the Oversight of the State Board of Education: Consideration of the Southern California Charter School Petition, Which Was Denied by the Adelanto School District and the San Bernardino County Board of Education.

(Heard eighth on the agenda.)

Mr. Parsons presented the item and reviewed the staff report, including school scores. The CDE recommends denial of the petition due to an inability to open and sustain, does not meet minimal requirements, fiscal projections, petitioners plan to serve as their own SELPA, and conflicting information in the school’s governance structure and the petitioners ability to budget effectively.

Mr. Parsons suggested that if the ACCS votes to approve this appeal, the following conditions should be included:

  • The SBE’s traditional conditions on opening and operation;
  • Modifications to the charter in accordance with the CDE report as set forth in Attachment 2;
  • Specifications of a five-year term beginning July 1, 2010, and ending June 30, 2015;
  • And, termination of the approval if the school does not resume operations by September 30, 2010

Chair Hunkapiller invited petitioners to come forward and present to the ACCS. 

Dr. Gary Wilkins, lead petitioner, came forward to present the proposed elements of the charter and concessions petitioners were willing to make in response to the CDE’s staff report and recommendation of denial.

Chair Hunkapiller asked for questions from the ACCS. Dr. Barber did not have questions, but noted that the petitioners have not presented adequate information to remedy the CDE findings for denial of this petition. 

Chair Hunkapiller asked for public comment. Hearing none, she asked for a motion. 

  • Action: Dr. Barber made a motion to approve the staff recommendation to recommend denial of the Southern California Charter School petition to the SBE. Mr. Kushner seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously by a vote of seven in favor and none opposed
Item 6: Petition for Establishment of a Charter School Under the Oversight of the State Board of Education: Consideration of the Flex Academy San Francisco Petition, Which Was Denied by the San Francisco Unified School Board of Education.

(Heard sixth on the agenda.)

Mr. Kushner recused himself due to his involvement with the petitioning group, and left the meeting room. Ms. Galloway presented the item and reviewed the staff report. The petition was denied by the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), which also serves as the San Francisco County Office of Education. The CDE recommends approval of the petition. Ms. Galloway made a correction to Attachment 2 of the item: the school must open in 2010, not 2009. 

Mary Richards, from SFUSD, reviewed the process for review of a charter petition and said that SFUSD denied the petition due to enrollment factors and failure to open the charter based on community support. Chair Hunkapiller asked for clarification that there was no county action. Ms. Richards confirmed.

Chair Hunkapiller asked for public comment. Jerry Simmons, with Middleton, Young and Minney, LLP, asked for flexibility to open in 2010–11. Chair Hunkapiller asked if the question had been asked of CDE staff, and Ms. Ruskofsky stated it had. Dr. Barber commended the school on considering this option rather than opening before they were ready, and encouraged the CDE to support this option.

  • Action: Dr. Cartas made a motion to approve the staff recommendation to recommend approval of the Flex Academy petition to the SBE. Mr. Bauer seconded. The motion was approved unanimously by a vote of seven in favor and none opposed
Item 7: Petition for Establishment of a Charter School Under the Oversight of the State Board of Education: Consideration of the California College, Career, and Technical Education Center Charter School Petition, Which Was Denied by the Washington Unified School District and the Yolo County Board of Education.

(Heard seventh on the agenda.)

Mr. Parsons presented the item and reviewed the staff report, including school scores. The CDE recommends approval of the petition subject to the SBE conditions on opening and operating, and staff recommendations.

Chair Hunkapiller asked the ACCS for questions, and hearing none, she invited the petitioners to present to the ACCS.

Paul Preston, lead petitioner, presented a PowerPoint overview of CCCTEC. CCCTEC has a five-academy approach: arts academy, service academy, transportation academy, engineering academy, and commerce academy. It is a four-year high school. They have a ‘kids come first’ approach. The CCCTEC advisory committee has over 25 members.

Steve Marks also spoke in support of the school.  His family owns a large ranch in Woodland and they plan to open the ranch to the students of CCCTEC. 

Leslie Kendell, of Kendall & Associates, urged the ACCS to forward their approval to the SBE.

James Dawson, a teacher for 14 years in Washington USD, is in support of CCCTEC and felt that it is probably the only hope to get the district out of Program Improvement.

  • Motion: Dr. Cartas made a motion to approve the staff recommendation to recommend approval of the CCCTEC petition to the SBE. Mr. Bauer seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously by a vote of seven in favor and none opposed.
Item 9: Consideration of Requests for Determination of Funding Rates as Required for Nonclassroom-based Charter Schools.

(Heard third on the agenda.)

Mr. Badwalz presented the item and noted the CDE recommendations on each school.

  • ACTION 1: Ms. Barber moved to approve the schools with a 100% funding recommendation for two years (new schools). Mr. Kushner seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously by a vote of seven in favor and none opposed.
  • ACTION 2: Dr. Cartas moved to approve the schools with a 100% funding recommendation for five years (continuing schools). Ms. Barber seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously by a vote of seven in favor and none opposed.
  • ACTION 3: Mr. Bauer moved to approve the schools with a 100% funding recommendation for four years (continuing schools), excluding Charter #528. Dr. Cartas seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously by a vote of seven in favor and none opposed.

Dr. Cartas recused himself from this portion of the item concerning Charter #528, and left the meeting room.

  • ACTION: Mr. Kushner moved to approve Charter #528 for a 100% funding determination for four years. Mr. Bauer seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously by a vote of six in favor and none opposed.

Dr. Cartas rejoined the meeting.

Lupita Cortez Alcala, Deputy Superintendent of the CDE Government Affairs and Charter Development Branch, presented the funding determination request by Westwood Charter School. She informed the ACCS that the school’s authorizer has begun revocation actions against the school and has issued a notice to remedy. The CDE has no recommendation for this school.

Terry Ferguson, a member of the Westwood Charter School Board, stated that they were currently having considerable problems at Westwood. Superintendent Henry Bietz has been placed on administrative leave, and Rick Geonaty was taking over for Mr. Bietz.

Chair Hunkapiller asked how many students they have enrolled and stated they have questions regarding the number of students that were included in STAR testing for the 2009–10 school year. An unidentified employee of Westwood stated that 220 or 230 students were tested that year.

  • ACTION: Dr. Barber moved to approve a 100% funding determination for one year for Westwood Charter School. Mr. Bauer seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously by a vote of seven in favor and none opposed.

Chair Hunkapiller wanted the notes to reflect that she forgot to ask for general public comments in the morning. She would like it noted that Katrina Abston from K-12 Virtual Academy was present in the morning to provide information to the ACCS on the backlog of online courses submitted by charter schools to the UC system for approval. Ms. Abston left written materials for the ACCS to review. 


Chair Hunkapiller asked if there was any other business to be heard. Hearing none, she adjourned the meeting at 5:26 p.m.

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