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Preliminary Meeting Notes for June 9, 2020

Advisory Commission on Charter Schools (ACCS) preliminary meeting minutes for June 9, 2020.

Advisory Commission on Charter Schools

An Advisory Body to the State Board of Education

Preliminary Meeting Notes

Tuesday, June 9, 2020
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 1101
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Commission Members

  • Jared Austin
  • Esau Berumen
  • Cameron Curry
  • Stephanie Farland 1
  • Gayle Garbolino-Mojica
  • Erika Jones
  • Wesley Sever
  • Brent Walmsley
  • Mike Walsh

1Represents the State Superintendent of Public Instruction

State Board of Education Liaison Members

  • Sue Burr
  • Ting L. Sun

Principal Staff

  • Carrie Lopes, Education Administrator I, California Department of Education (CDE)
  • Makenna Huey, Staff Services Manager I, CDE
Call to Order
  • Commissioner Sever called the meeting to order at approximately 8:33 a.m.
  • Salute to Flag
  • Welcome and Introductions
Review and Adoption of Meeting Notes

Action: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Commissioner Curry moved approval of minutes.

Commissioner Walsh seconded the motion.

Yes votes: Commissioners Austin, Berumen, Curry, Farland, Garbolino-Mojica, Jones, Sever, Walmsley, and Walsh

No votes: None

Members absent: None

Abstentions: None

The motion passed unanimously.

AGENDA ITEMS
ITEM 01

Subject: Consideration of Requests for Determination of Funding as Required for Nonclassroom-Based Charter Schools Pursuant to California Education Code sections 47612.5 and 47634.2, and Associated California Code of Regulations, Title 5.

CDE Recommendation: The CDE proposes to recommend that the State Board of Education (SBE) approve the determination of funding requests at the percentages and for the time periods specified for the nonclassroom-based charter schools as provided in Attachment 1.

Action: Commissioner Garbolino-Mojica moved for recommendation to the SBE of the CDE staff recommendation.

Commissioner Walsh seconded the motion.

Yes votes: Commissioners Austin, Berumen, Curry, Farland, Garbolino-Mojica, Sever, Walmsley, and Walsh

No votes: Commissioner Jones

Members absent: None

Abstentions: None

The motion passed by a vote of eight to one.

ITEM 02

Subject: Consideration of Requests for Determination of Funding with “Reasonable Basis”/Mitigating Circumstances as Required for Nonclassroom-Based Charter Schools Pursuant to California Education Code sections 47612.5 and 47634.2, and Associated California Code of Regulations, Title 5.

CDE Recommendation: The CDE proposes to recommend that the SBE approve the mitigating circumstances requests and approve the determination of funding requests at the percentages and for the time periods specified for the charter schools as provided in Attachment 1.

Action: Commissioner Garbolino-Mojica moved for recommendation to the SBE of the CDE staff recommendation.

Commissioner Walmsley seconded the motion.

Yes votes: Commissioners Austin, Berumen, Curry, Farland, Garbolino-Mojica, Sever, Walmsley, and Walsh

No votes: Commissioner Jones

Members absent: None

Abstentions: None

The motion passed by a vote of eight to one.

ITEM 03

Subject: Consideration of Retroactive Requests for Determination of Funding as Required for Nonclassroom-Based Charter Schools Pursuant to California Education Code sections 47612.5 and 47634.2, and Associated California Code of Regulations, Title 5.

CDE Recommendation: The CDE proposes to recommend that the SBE approve the determination of funding requests at the percentages and for the time periods specified for the charter schools as provided in Attachment 1.

Action: Commissioner Curry moved for recommendation to the SBE of the CDE staff recommendation.

Commissioner Walsh seconded the motion.

Yes votes: Commissioners Austin, Berumen, Curry, Farland, Garbolino-Mojica, Sever, Walmsley, and Walsh

No votes: Commissioner Jones

Members absent: None

Abstentions: None

The motion passed by a vote of eight to one.

ITEM 04

Subject: Consideration of Retroactive Requests for Determination of Funding with “Reasonable Basis”/Mitigating Circumstances as Required for Nonclassroom-Based Charter Schools Pursuant to California Education Code sections 47612.5 and 47634.2, and Associated California Code of Regulations, Title 5.

CDE Recommendation: The CDE proposes to recommend that the SBE approve the mitigating circumstances requests of two schools and deny the mitigating circumstances request for one school, and approve the determination of funding requests at the percentages and for the time periods as specified in Attachment 1.

Action: Commissioner Curry moved for recommendation to the SBE of the CDE staff recommendation.

Commissioner Walsh seconded the motion.

Yes votes: Commissioners Austin, Berumen, Curry, Farland, Sever, Walmsley, and Walsh

No votes: Commissioner Jones

Members absent: Commissioner Garbolino-Mojica

Abstentions: None

The motion passed by a vote of seven to one.

ITEM 05

Subject: Petition for the Establishment of a Charter School Under the Oversight of the State Board of Education: Consideration of Eagle Collegiate Academy, which was denied by the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District and Los Angeles County Board of Education.

CDE Recommendation: The CDE proposes to recommend that the SBE hold a public hearing to deny the request to establish Eagle Collegiate Academy (ECA), a transitional kindergarten (TK)/kindergarten (K) through grade eight charter school, based on the CDE’s findings pursuant to Education Code (EC) Section 47605 and California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR) Section 11967.5.1.

The CDE finds that the petitioner is demonstrably unlikely to implement the program set forth in the petition due to an unrealistic financial and operational plan including aggressive enrollment assumptions and a budget plan that is reliant on meeting the aggressive enrollment projections.

Additionally, the CDE finds that the ECA petition does not contain a reasonably comprehensive description of all the required elements including Element 1–Description of Educational Program, Element 2–Measuring Pupil Outcomes, Element 4–Governance Structure, and Element 5–Employee Qualifications. Additionally, the ECA petition does not address the requirement under Goals to Address the Eight State Priorities.

Action: Commissioner Walsh moved for recommendation to the SBE of the CDE staff recommendation.

Commissioner Jones seconded the motion.

Yes votes: Commissioners Austin, Berumen, Farland, Jones, Sever, Walmsley, and Walsh

No votes: Commissioner Curry

Members absent: None

Abstentions: Commissioner Garbolino-Mojica

The motion passed by a vote of seven to one with one abstention.

ITEM 06

Subject: Petition for the Establishment of a Charter School under the Oversight of the State Board of Education: Consideration of T.I.M.E Community School, which was denied by the Montebello Unified School District and Los Angeles County Office of Education.

CDE Recommendation: Due to the state’s budget uncertainties and the proposed budget submitted by T.I.M.E Community School (TCS), the CDE is compelled to recommend that the SBE hold a public hearing to deny the TCS petition. In its initial review, the CDE found the TCS petition to be consistent with sound educational practice and the educational program outlined to be innovative. While the CDE initially determined the petitioner was likely to successfully implement the program, the CDE had concerns with the lack of start-up funds. These concerns are compounded as a result of the Governor’s May Revise, which proposes a 10 percent Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) reduction, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If this reduction is realized, the CDE does not believe that the TCS petition is fiscally viable.

Additionally, the CDE finds that the TCS petition does not provide reasonably comprehensive descriptions of most of the required elements including Element 2–Measurable Pupil Outcomes, Element 10–Suspension and Expulsion Procedures, and Element 14–Dispute Resolution Procedures as well as for Goals to Address the Eight State Priorities.

Action: Commissioner Curry moved for recommendation to the SBE that the charter be approved with the full knowledge that if the opening of the school is delayed until 2021–22, the charter term is still for a total of five years and that the school will be operative for four of those fives years.

Commissioner Walsh seconded the motion.

Yes votes: Commissioners Austin, Berumen, Curry, Garbolino-Mojica, Sever, Walmsley, and Walsh

No votes: Commissioners Farland and Jones

Members absent: None

Abstentions: None

The motion passed by a vote of seven to two.

ITEM 07

Subject: Petition for the Establishment of a Charter School Under the Oversight of the State Board of Education: Consideration of Pinecrest Expedition Academy, which was denied by the Twain Harte School District and Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools.

CDE Recommendation: The CDE proposes to recommend that the SBE hold a public hearing to deny the request to establish Pinecrest Expedition Academy (PEA), a TK/K through grade eight charter school, based on the CDE’s findings pursuant to EC Section 47605 and 5 CCR Section 11967.5.1.

The CDE finds that the petitioner does not present a sound educational program and is demonstrably unlikely to implement the program set forth in the petition due to an unrealistic financial and operational plan including negative ending fund balances of $100,914; $127,487; and $116,114 with no reserve for fiscal year (FY) 2020–21 through FY 2022–23, respectively.

Additionally, the CDE finds that the PEA petition does not contain a reasonably comprehensive description of all of the required elements, including Element 1–Description of Educational Program, Element 2–Measurable Pupil Outcomes, Element 5–Employee Qualifications, Element 10–Suspension and Expulsion Procedures, and Element 14– Dispute Resolution Procedures. Additionally, the PEA petition does not address the requirement under Goals to Address the Eight State Priorities.

Action: Commissioner Garbolino-Mojica moved for recommendation to the SBE of the CDE staff recommendation.

Commissioner Curry seconded the motion.

Yes votes: Commissioners Austin, Berumen, Curry, Farland, Garbolino-Mojica, Jones, Sever, and Walsh

No votes: Commissioner Walmsley

Members absent: None

Abstentions: None

The motion passed by a vote of eight to one.

ITEM 08

Subject: Petition for the Renewal of a Charter School Under the Oversight of the State Board of Education: Consideration of Today’s Fresh Start Charter School Inglewood, which was denied by the Inglewood Unified School District and Los Angeles County Board of Education.

CDE Recommendation: The CDE proposes to recommend that the SBE hold a public hearing to deny the request to renew Today’s Fresh Start Charter School Inglewood (TFSCSI), a TK/K through grade eight charter school, based on the CDE’s findings pursuant to EC Section 47605 and 5 CCR Section 11967.5.

The CDE finds that the petitioner is demonstrably unlikely to implement the program set forth in the TFSCSI petition as the petitioner has a past history of involvement in charter schools that the SBE regards as unsuccessful. The CDE also finds that the TFSCSI petition does not contain a reasonably comprehensive description of the following required elements: Element 1–Description of Educational Program, Element 4–Governance Structure, Element 9–Annual Independent Financial Audits, and Element 10–Suspension and Expulsion Procedures.

Additionally, the petitioner has been associated with Today’s Fresh Start Charter, which was revoked in 2007 by the Los Angeles County Board of Education.

Action: Commissioner Garbolino-Mojica moved for recommendation to the SBE of the CDE staff recommendation.

Commissioner Walsh seconded the motion.

Yes votes: Commissioners Berumen, Farland, Garbolino-Mojica, Jones, Sever, and Walsh

No votes: Commissioners Austin, Curry, and Walmsley

Members absent: None

Abstentions: None

The motion passed by a vote of six to three.

ITEM 09

Subject: Petition for the Renewal of a Charter School Under the Oversight of the State Board of Education: Consideration of John Henry High, which was denied by the West Contra Costa Unified School District and not acted on by the Contra Costa County Office of Education.

CDE Recommendation: The CDE proposes to recommend that the SBE hold a public hearing to deny the request to renew John Henry High (JHH), a grade nine through grade twelve charter school, based on the CDE’s findings pursuant to EC Section 47605 and 5 CCR Section 11967.5.

The CDE completed its review of the JHH budget and fiscal projections based on the May Revise released on May 22, 2020, which assumes the 10 percent cut to the LCFF. The petitioner is not able to successfully implement the intended program based on a projected budget, which is not viable and includes negative ending fund balances of $100,512; $306,300; and $294,913 with no reserves for FY 2020–21 through 2022–23, respectively. The CDE notes that prior to the its review of the JHH budget and fiscal projections based on the May Revise, the JHH projected budget was fiscally viable with positive ending fund balances of $317,488; $600,062; and $1,125,325 with reserves of 6.3, 11, and 19.6 percent for FY 2020–21 through 2022–23, respectively.

While the CDE finds that the JHH petition is consistent with sound educational practice and meets the renewal criteria, the CDE has concerns regarding the significant decline in the academic progress of English learner pupils in English language arts and mathematics. Furthermore, the CDE is concerned that the current JHH admission requirements set up an enrollment process that prohibits JHH from reaching demographics reflective of the West Contra Costa Unified School District.

Additionally, the CDE finds that the JHH petition does not contain a reasonably comprehensive description of all of the required elements including Element 4–Governance Structure, Element 5–Employee Qualifications, Element 7–Racial and Ethnic Balance, Element 8–Admission Requirements, Element 10–Suspension and Expulsion Procedures, Element 11–Retirement Coverage, and Element 14–Dispute Resolution Procedures.

Action: Commissioner Austin moved for recommendation to the SBE that the charter be approved.

Commissioner Walmsley seconded the motion.

Yes votes: Commissioners Austin, Berumen, Curry, Garbolino-Mojica, Sever, Walmsley, and Walsh

No votes: Commissioners Farland and Jones

Members absent: None

Abstentions: None

The motion passed by a vote of seven to two.

Adjournment of Meeting

Commissioner Sever adjourned the meeting at approximately 7:40 p.m.

Questions:   Charter Schools Division | charters@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-6029
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 22, 2020
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