April 2023 ACCS - Item 2 Public Comment 3Public Comment 3 received for Agenda Item 2 of the April 18, 2023, Advisory Commission on Charter Schools meeting.
The following information was provided on Taylion High Desert Academy/Adelanto letterhead. Except when needed for accessibility purposes, no corrections to spelling, grammatical, or typographical errors have been made. The Charter Schools Division understands the following acronyms to mean: ACCS = Advisory Commission on Charter Schools; NCB = nonclassroom-based; ADA = average daily attendance; CTE = Career Technical Education; CDE = California Department of Education.
To receive a copy of the below communication in its original format, contact the Charter Schools Division by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Item 02, Attachment 24, Charter #1520
Public Comment Submission for the April 18th, 2023 ACCS Meeting
Agenda Item #2, Attachment #24 Determination of Funding Request Taylion High Desert / Adelanto
Good afternoon Commissioners. My name is Zach Wolfe and I support the financial operations of Taylion High Desert Academy, whose funding is up for review on Item #2 of your board agenda. I have worked in charter school finance for 10 years and have supported many Nonclassroom-based schools to ensure every administrator understands the financial requirements bound to NCB schools. Therefore, I know the spending requirements of the Nonclassroom-based funding determination very well. Each year, as we build our school’s budget, I ensure we test Sb740 spending requirements to ensure state compliance.
In the matter of Taylion High Desert Academy, the school saw unprecedent enrollment and ADA growth coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic, as was demonstrated on the school’s mitigating circumstance form. From September 2021 – March 2022, Taylion’s enrollment went from 239 enrolled to 450 enrolled. When enrollment began to elevate in September/October, the school and its back office proactively recalibrated its budget (as shown on the 1st interim and 2nd interim budget breakdowns on the mitigating circumstance form) to ensure the school met all Nonclassroom-based spending requirements. This meant hiring credentialed positions to prepare for the enrollment growth that was coming based on the September and October enrollment growth trends. Unfortunately, due to statewide teaching shortages, hiring highly qualified teachers in the high desert of San Bernardino proved very difficult, but the school worked hard to bring on new staff as quickly as possible and supported its classified staff in getting CTE credentials. If the school had been able to hire all budgeted new teaching positions with all credentialed staff enrolling in employee benefits, the school would have met NCB spending requirements. This is shown clearly in the school’s mitigating circumstance form as well. Even whilst struggling to hire on teaching staff, the school still maintained a very low pupil to teacher ratio of 14.31.
Taking all the above factors into consideration, I ask that you do not take the recommendation of the CDE and provide Taylion with full 100% funding so they can continue to support the very clear demand from the disadvantaged community that wants to attend the school. By reducing the school’s funding, you will further hurt students and staff in an area that needs all the support it can get.