CASI May 2022 Charter Chat Resource PageInformation and resources from the May 2022 Charter Chat, presented by the Charter Authorizer Support Initiative (CASI).
Charter Chat Topics
- Legislative Updates
- Program Hot Topics
- Fiscal Hot Topics
- Q&A from Previous Charter Chats and CASI Email
- Q&A from the May Charter Chat
- Assembly Bill (AB) 2774 This bill would reconfigure the Local Control Funding Formula unduplicated count. Currently, students who qualify for free and reduced-priced meals, English learners, and homeless and foster youth are included in the unduplicated counts for supplemental and concentration funds. If AB 2774 is approved, students in the lowest academic performance category (Red on the California Schools Dashboard) for both English Language Arts (ELA) and Math would also be identified for additional funding.
- AB 2484 This bill proposes that if a charter school closes, the district in which it is located would now be responsible for the distribution of assets if there is not another entity available. The charter school would also have to update California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) prior to closure and report the number of displaced students to the California Department of Education (CDE). The bill would also impose new Charter School Facility Grant requirements regarding leasing property owned by a related party.
- Senate Bill (SB) 1343 This bill proposes that a charter school, authorized after January 1, 2023, would be required to participate in the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) and/or the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). The bill has been amended to not apply to any existing charter school.
- To follow current legislation at the California Legislative Information
- Under "Quick Bill Search," select either "Bill Number" or "Keyword(s)"
- Enter the bill number or keyword, respectively
- Once the desired bill is located, click "Add to My Favorites." This will prompt the user to create a profile and receive email updates on the status of the desired bill.
- Charter Governing Board Transparency
SB 98 took effect on January 1, 2020, and held that charter schools would be bound by the same governance transparency laws as districts. During the COVID-19 state of emergency, all the governing board meetings shifted to virtual meetings and Brown Act requirements were temporarily suspended. As schools are back in-person, many boards are contemplating transitioning to in-person meetings. However, with that transition, comes all the SB 98 requirements:
- If a Charter Board only has one site, the board meeting must be held at the site.
- If a Charter Board has more than one site and operates in only one county, then the charter must establish two-way communication at each site for the board meeting.
- If a Charter Board has more than one school and operates in only one county:
- The meeting must be held within the physical boundaries of the county; and
- Two-way communication must be established at every school for the Board meeting.
- If a Charter Board has more than one school and operates in different counties:
- The Board meeting must be held in the physical boundary of the county in which the most students reside;
- Two-way communication must be established at every site for the Board meeting; and
- The meeting must be recorded and posted to the school’s website.
- If a Charter Board operates a nonclassroom-based school that does not have a facility or operates more than one resource center:
- The meeting must be held within the physical boundaries of the county in which the most students reside; and
- Two-way communication must be established at every resource center for the Board meeting.
- End of Year Meetings There are no legal requirements for what should be covered in an end of year meeting. Best practice holds that an end of year meeting agenda would cover all the things which would be needed for the upcoming year: fiscal, governance, educational program, academic, operational, etc. Also, look at initiatives which will be required in 2022–23 and ask your charters what topics they want to add to the agenda. This is a great way to build communication and relationships.
- Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Process The LCAP is both a program and a fiscal compliance document, as it is closely connected to the budget. The LCAP goals should drive the budget, not the other way around. Program and fiscal teams should communicate closely during the LCAP review process. While reviewing, keep in mind that the Budget Overview for Parents should match the adopted budget numbers.
- Annual budget process Like districts, charter schools must complete and approve their annual budget. Per Education Code Section 47604.33 , charter schools are required to submit their board approved annual budget by July 1 of each year.
- Universal Meals Beginning in school year 2022–23, California will become the first state to implement a statewide Universal Meals Program for all school children. California’s Universal Meals Program is designed to build on the foundations of the federal National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). There are three key pillars that have been established to ensure that the program is a success:
- California’s State Meal Mandate is expanded to include both a nutritiously adequate breakfast and lunch for all children each school day.
- California’s Universal Meals Program requires very high poverty schools to participate in a federal provision.
- The California State Legislature allocates funds to provide additional state meal reimbursement to cover the cost of the Universal Meals Program.
What are the requirements for student group data, especially with small schools?
The requirements for student group data are found in Education Code Section 52052 . For the purposes of this section, numerically significant student groups include: ethnic subgroups; socioeconomically disadvantaged pupils; English learners; pupils with disabilities; foster youth; and homeless youth, and consist of at least 30 students. For foster or homeless youth, there must be at least 15 students.
What is the recommended size of an authorizer oversight team based on the number of charter schools in an anthorizer's portfolio?
It depends, as each authorizer is unique and has different levels of need. Education Code Section 47604.32 requires only that the authorizer provide a single point of contact for the charter school. Some authorizers use a team approach where one person is the point of contact, but invites the expertise of the rest of the district office to help in the authorizing oversight process. Some authorizers have a dedicated staff for the oversight of their portfolio of schools.
What is required to be posted on a charter school website?
California Charter Authorizing Professionals (CCAP) is producing three tools on this topic and anticipates their release in June.
Santa Clara County Office of Education currently reviews their charters' websites for the following:
- Uniform Complaint Procedures (UPC)
- The charter school complaint form regarding not serving all students who wish to attend
- Suspension/expulsion policy
- Parent/student handbook
- Title IX policy
- Suicide prevention policy
- A copy of school lottery application
- School admission requirements
- Lottery preferences and procedures
- Board meeting calendar
- Board meeting agendas (one click on front of website to current agenda)
- Board minutes/recordings where applicable
- School Accountability Report Card
- The most recent Local Control and Accountability Plan (in the correct format and in one document which includes the budget overview for parents)
- The federal addendum (if applicable)
- School contact information (address, phone numbers, and email addresses)
How do you build consistency between authorizers for charter school compliance?
Consistency is built through lots of communication. Charter schools have been communicating through organizations like California Charter School Association (CCSA) and Charter School Development Center (CSDC) , which gather information and support for charter schools. However, as there are potentially 1300 different authorizing entities across the state, and each is unique due to size, location, and political climate, there have been limited avenues for authorizer consistency. Hence, the need for the Charter Authorizer Support Initiative (CASI). CASI looks at the law and best practices for authorizers, then provides a forum for the sharing of information to build consistency.
Is the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) hold harmless for charter schools?
Yes. The Governor’s May revision contains some hold harmless language. There is also Assembly Bill 1948 which is making its way through the legislature. However, until the State budget is adopted and signed by the end of June, final information will not be available on this topic.
How do charter school petition assessment goals impact the charters?
Per Education Code (EC) 47605 and 47605.6, charter schools are required to provide a reasonably comprehensive description of how the educational program and students are measured along with the school’s goals for achieving those measures. While EC 47607 and 47607.2 may have adjusted the renewal process, the school is still bound to fulfill the promises stated in its charter and in its annual Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). As part of the LCAP review, annual report, and ultimate renewal process, authorizers should discuss with the charter school how they are progressing towards their assessment goals.
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